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TxDOT's 'Share the Road' campaign focuses on motorcyclists' safety

As spring weather draws more motorcyclists onto roadways, the risk of fatalities increases. Last year 417 motorcyclists died on Texas roadways, an average of more than one fatality a day. It’s a number the Texas Department of Transportation is working to reduce by asking motorists to be extra vigilant. With that in mind, TxDOT is launching a campaign called “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” in conjunction with May’s National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The safety campaign urges drivers to be extra cautious since motorcyclists are more difficult to see and less protected than other motorists. TxDOT officials say one of the most common crashes between motorcycles and vehicles occurs when the vehicle’s driver makes left turns at an intersection. In fact, 30 percent of Texas motorcycle deaths in 2018 were intersection-related. As a result, TxDOT cautions drivers to be extra vigilant when approaching, turning, or driving through an intersection. Another warning, motorcyclist’s “braking” is not always obvious to other motorists. Experts say motorcycles also decelerate faster than other types of vehicles and motorcyclists can often downshift instead of applying the brake, especially when driving around a curve. This means - at times - brake lights will not be engaged to signal the motorcycle is slowing down. Therefore, it is important for motorists to allow extra distance when they are behind motorcycles. Again, May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. As part of its “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” campaign, TxDOT officials offer several safety tips. Those experts urge motorists to look twice for motorcycles, especially at intersections. Always assume motorcycles are closer than they appear to be, and avoid turning in front of an oncoming motorcycle. Use turn signals and check blind spots before changing lanes. Be sure to maintain a safe following distance and give motorcyclists a full lane, especially when passing. Always obey posted speed limits.

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