Motorcycles and Texas go hand in hand. Once you leave the busier highways and interstates, you discover what there is to truly love about seeing Texas on two wheels. Yet, motorcycles are some of the most vulnerable motor vehicles on the highway, requiring their drivers to maintain a heightened awareness of the traffic around them.
However, even the most seasoned drivers don't always walk away when an accident occurs. These facts about motorcycle accidents in Texas spotlight the vulnerability of their drivers and passengers and why an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Texas is necessary when a crash occurs.
Recent Texas Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Though the number of registered motorcycles in Texas has declined over the past decade, there are still close to 400,000 on-road motorcycles registered in Texas, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In one year, Texas motorcycle drivers and their passengers experienced the following fatalities and injuries as reported by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT):
- 9,094 motorcycle drivers and passengers were involved in accidents on Texas highways
- 562 motorcycle fatalities occurred
- 2,422 suspected severe injuries occurred, including incapacitating injuries
- 3,148 suspected minor injuries impacted motorcyclists
- 1,468 motorcyclists sustained possible injuries
- 1,276 individuals sustained no injuries
- 218 accidents had unknown injuries
- Motorcycle accident deaths increased by 8% in this reporting year
- Individuals aged 20-45 suffered most from fatal motorcycle accidents in Texas
In the crashes reported above, 39% of motorcycle accident victims in Texas were not wearing helmets. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) demonstrates that Texas ranks as one of the most dangerous states for motorcycle riders. The latest state-by-state statistics show that only two states, California and Florida, slightly exceeded Texas in motorcycle fatalities.
Every figure listed in the latest numbers on motorcycle accidents and injuries in Texas represents someone who lost their life or sustained injury in a Texas motorcycle accident. These statistics become personal when it happens to you or someone you love.
Critical Findings in Motorcycle Crashes
There are significant findings related to motorcycle accidents across the states. Bikers face significantly more safety threats than other motor vehicle drivers and passengers. These include:
- Motorcyclists' fatality rates are 24 times higher than passenger car occupant fatality rates.
- Blood alcohol impairment was higher in motorcycle fatalities (28%) than in other types of accidents impacted by alcohol.
- Fatal biker accidents occurring at night were three times more likely than daytime accidents.
- 43% of single-vehicle crashes involving only a motorcyclist showed the driver was impaired.
- 95% of fatal injuries in motorcycle accidents were to drivers.
- Motorcyclists, both driver and passenger, account for 17% of all motor vehicle fatalities.
- Most motorcycle fatalities occur in urban areas (67%).
- Intersection accidents account for approximately 35% of biker deaths.
- Only 2% of motorcycle fatalities are impacted by rain.
- 1% of biker deaths were attributed to fog, sleet, or snow.
Most crashes in Texas occur on clear or cloudy days without significant weather impacts. Drivers are often more alert on weather-impacted days. The tendency of most riders to forego taking their motorcycle out during inclement weather likely reduces motorcycle crashes on days when the weather is less than optimal.
Top Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
Common causes of motorcycle accidents remain consistent across the country, no matter where you choose to ride. Texas is not exempt from these causes, primarily attributable to human actions. These are the top factors influencing motorcycle crashes:
Alcohol and motorcycles never mix, but a culture of drinking and running the roads on two wheels has existed for decades. Bikers who drink and drive are not the only individuals impacted by the safety hazards created by alcohol. Any driver choosing to drink and drive raises the risk of injury to others.
Approximately 30% of fatal motorcycle accidents involve drivers whose blood alcohol concentration is over legal limits. At least some amount of alcohol was detected in 45% of bikers fatally injured in motorcycle accidents, according to NHTSA reports.
Driving above the posted speed limit threatens all motorists, particularly bikers and their passengers. Motorcyclists in Houston, Texas and Harris County are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of speeding. Harris County documented 38,679 motor vehicle crashes attributed to speeding in one year.
Visual, manual, and cognitive distractions lead to heightened dangers for motorcyclists, and this distracted driving may lead to accidents with motorcycles, such as:
- Head on crashes
- Read end collisions
- Turning accidents or T-boning incidents
- Sideswipes when changing lanes
- Leaving the roadways
Manipulating a handheld device and texting were significant contributors to distracted driving accidents reported in this study.
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
While fatalities in motorcycle accidents in Texas remain high, significant life-changing injuries that do not cause death should not be ignored. Common injuries in motorcycle accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Bone fractures and breaks
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injury and bleeding
- Road rash and abrasions leading to infection
In many motorcycle accidents, the victims will suffer severe injuries and be transported to the hospital for care. If you are able to leave the scene of the crash on your own, it’s recommended that you seek medical help within 24 hours. Medical treatment provides the documentation to establish a timeline of when and what caused an injury. When a claim or lawsuit is necessary to recover compensation for the damages you suffer in an accident, medical records become a valuable source of documentation used by a motorcycle accident attorney in Texas.
Discuss Your Injuries with a Texas Motorcycle Attorney
Recovering from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident may take time, keeping an individual from work while medical costs accumulate. Motorcycle enthusiasts have as much right to the highways as other drivers. However, they are often overlooked on Texas roads, making us one of the states with high motorcycle fatality rates.
Farah Law brings over four decades of combined experience to injured Texans, helping them recover the best compensation possible for personal injuries. Contact one of our offices today to learn how we can help you financially recover after a Texas motorcycle accident.