LUBBOCK, Texas — According to the Texas Department of Transportation, on average, one motorcyclist dies every day on texas roads. To combat this, TxDOT launched their annual ‘Share the Road’ campaign to remind drivers to be aware of motorcyclists on the road.
Last year, in the Lubbock district, there were just under 130 motorcycle crashes, 10 of which were fatal, and in the city of Lubbock, there were 87 motorcycle crashes and 7 deaths, according to TxDOT.
These high numbers of fatalities make Lubbock one of the most dangerous places in Texas to ride a motorcycle.
Local resident and motorcycle owner Tyler Towns loves riding his motorcycle, but after a close call, he’s worried about his safety riding around town.
“A drunk [driver] ran in front of me and I went down,” Townes said. “When I’m in Lubbock, Texas — it’s fearful riding there.”
TxDOT spokesperson Octavia Saenz believes there is one major cause of these accidents.
“A lot of times drivers aren’t focused on driving so if you are driving — please make it your number one priority. There’s a life riding on it,” Saenz said.
Townes says that while driving a car, using your turn signal and putting down your cell phone might save a life.
“We don’t have the protection that cars do. That’s a choice we make to ride, but at the same time we want to make it home the same way they do. There is no need to put lives in danger cause you’re in a hurry to get home,” said Townes.
But it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings.
“One primary way that motorists can make sure they never harm motorcyclists is to never turn in front of one that is on coming,” said Saenz. “To avoid these crashes drivers need to make the motorcyclists pass before making that left turn.”
Both Saenz and Townes hope ‘Share the Road’ will remind drivers to do just that.
“Pay attention to the road, listen to the pipes if you hear them and know there’s a motorcycle there,” Townes said, “open your eyes, look twice, and pay attention.”
TxDOT is hoping their ‘Share the Road’ campaign will bring down motorcycle fatalities this year. They also want to remind drivers that if you see or hear a motorcycle on the road make sure to look twice before turning or merging.