Two Texas Motorcycle Crashes Prompt DPS Warnings
For the most part, Texans seem to be enjoying the warmer-than-normal January temperatures we’ve been experiencing. With the warmer weather, however, comes more motorcycles, which means more motorcycle accidents. In Amarillo, for example, there have been with a serious pickup truck-motorcycle accident Tuesday; the second one in two days.
On Monday at a little before 8 p.m., a 38-year-old driver of a northbound 2014 Ram 3500 pickup, 38-year-old Vinton Lee Shirk of Oklahoma City, was attempting to make a U-turn on South Bell Street when a 1984 Honda Goldwing driven by 28-year-old Amarillo resident Alex Lloyd Henderson slammed into his side as he was driving southbound.
Henderson, who was not wearing a helmet, was transported to a local hospital with what were described by Amarillo Police as “life-threatening injuries.”
Then, on Tuesday afternoon, there was another collision involving a pickup and a motorcycle, this time at the intersection of South Pittsburg Street and Southeast 10th Avenue. According to police, the driver of the pickup was going east on 10th and made a left turn onto Pittsburg without yielding the right-of-way to the motorcycle, which was traveling west. As a result, the truck struck the motorcycle on the side, knocking the rider off and the bike several yards onto Pittsburg.
First responders arrived and the motorcyclist was transported to a local hospital with what some witnesses described as a compound leg fracture, which can be very serious.
The Texas Department of Public Safety is reminding Texans to be careful and courteous when it comes to sharing the road with motorcycles. They note that motorcyclists are at an automatic disadvantage when it comes to sharing the road with cars and trucks, and they are asking drivers to always look twice, especially when it comes to making turns at intersections and when changing lanes. In fully half of all fatal crashes involving motorcycles in Texas, the driver of a larger vehicle claims they never saw the motorcyclist.
DPS isn’t just warning drivers of larger vehicles. They are also advising all motorcyclists to always wear a helmet and following all traffic laws. In fact, both vehicle drivers and motorcyclists can do a few simple things to increase the safety of everyone. For example, car and truck drivers should always do a visual check of mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes, and they should always use a turn signal to let everyone else know what you’re about to do. No one should tailgate a motorcycle, since they can stop much faster than a car can, and also because the motorcycle needs enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. And of course, no one should ever drive any vehicle while distracted.