The Texas DOT (Department of Transportation) is again asking drivers to keep an eye out for motorcyclists as they hit the highways over the next few months.
Tx DOT officials joined city leaders, emergency medical personnel and motorcyclists on Thursday morning to launch the “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” campaign ahead of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May.
Authorities said the summer months usually see the highest concentration of motorcycle crashes, as more bikes are on the road.
“What we’re seeing is that our vehicles are not paying attention when they are at a stop sign. They’re not looking to the left, to the right and to the left again, and they are pulling out in front of that motorcyclist,” said Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Robbie Barrera.
“Also, they are not paying attention when they want to turn left. The motorcycle, which is smaller than a passenger car, is heading the opposite direction and they’re turning in front of those,” Barrera said. “So, the message that we need to get out there is to look twice.”
Motorcyclists are five times more likely to be injured and 29 times more likely to be killed in a crash than others on the road, according to TxDOT which maintains records on accidents and fatalities on Texas Roads and Highways.
Authorities said there were 493 motorcycle fatalities in Texas in 2016, which marked a 6 percent increase from 2015. Austin saw a total of 13 fatalities in 2016.
The latest fatal motorcycle crash on Austin roads occurred Tuesday when 28-year-old Megan Siobhan Brennan was killed on the flyover ramp connecting North Mopac Boulevard (Loop 1) to Research Boulevard.
A preliminary investigation by police indicated that Brennan lost control and slammed into a concrete barrier, then fell roughly 100 feet to her death.