Motorcyclists flock to the Hill Country to cruise the hillsides and gather with other motorcycle riders. This can contribute to the vehicle-related motorcycle accidents that seem to be on the rise in the Hill Country. Every driver should be more aware of their surroundings with so many motorcyclists traveling around the area.
Approximately 75% of motorcycle crashes involve at least one vehicle and one motorcyclist.
While there are many factors that can cause a motorcycle to wreck, the leading cause is due to the failure of the motorist to fully look in their blind spot areas to make sure no motorcycle rider is in the way before switching lanes. About 60% of motorcycle wrecks are attributed to motorists violating a motorcyclists’ ride-of-way.
A vehicle driver is advised to stay alert to their surroundings while driving. A motorcyclist is smaller, faster, and usually not as far away as they can appear. Along with frequently checking their blind spots, a motorist should maintain a cushion between themselves and the motorcycle driver by at least 4-seconds. Practicing this tip gives the vehicle driver some time to react to the unexpected. When at an intersection, intending to turn left, with a motorcyclist next to them, the vehicle driver should attempt to make eye contact with the motorcycle driver. In doing so, it helps each driver be more aware of the others’ intended turning plan to avoid a possible collision.
A motorcyclist should make sure they are doing everything they can to make themselves visible to motorists, as well as follow the speed limit and any other road laws. It is common for accidents to happen at intersections. Motorcycle drivers should always try to avoid driving in the left lane through an intersection. When a car to the right makes a left turn the rider is more at risk to get into a collision. Wearing a DOT-compliant motorcycle helmet is also advised in case a rider does find themselves involved in a roadway accident.
All road users should practice caution and cooperation and follow all road laws to help prevent more accidents from happening. Especially since the Hill Country area is a big motorcycle destination. Watch those around you, whether you are in a car or on a motorcycle.