In little more than one week, there have been three motorcycle accidents, each claiming the life of the rider. 

It is just not Amarillo or even the Panhandle. Motorcycle deaths are on the rise in Texas. Nearly 600 people riding motorcycles were killed in crashes in Texas last year, and more than 2,400 riders were seriously injured.

The Texas Department of Transportation reminds us May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Motorists are asked to look twice for motorcycles, each carries at least one life on it.

Al Peterson With Motorcycle

Al Peterson of Leander, TX, was almost killed last May after a driver turned in front of him. Peterson was thrown 20 yards from his motorcycle, suffering multiple fractured bones and internal injuries.

“It can be hard to judge the distance, size and speed of a motorcycle, which is why we need to pay extra attention when sharing the road,” said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. “We want everyone to get home safe, and that means drivers should be on the lookout for motorcycles and give them adequate space, especially when turning.”

Al Peterson In Hospital

 To help prevent crashes:

  • Check yourself. Always remind yourself to keep an eye out for any motorcycles nearby. This will help your eyes and brain notice motorcycles on the road.
  •  Look twice. Use turn signals and check blind spots before changing lanes. 
  •  Turning left? Avoid turning in front of an oncoming motorcycle. It can be hard to judge their speed and distance, so let them pass first and always use your turn signal to alert them.
  •  Pay special attention at intersections. More than a third of all motorcycle fatalities happen at roadway intersections.
  •  Make some space. Keep a safe following distance. Motorcyclists can reduce their speed by downshifting, which doesn’t activate the brake light. Treat motorcycles like cars by giving them a full lane when driving or passing.
  •  Slow down. Obey posted speed limits and drive according to conditions.
  •  Stay alert. Give driving your full attention. Even a momentary distraction can have deadly consequences.
  • Al Peterson Motorcycle Damage Full

    TxDOT’s Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles campaign is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel to help end the streak of daily deaths. Nov. 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways.