The open road can be beautiful. The panhandle region of north Texas has some of the most beautiful views amid its grassy plains, and the views from the seat of a motorcycle or bicycle can be even more so.
Many Texans know this to be true, yet some have learned that being safe while on the road is one way riders can make sure that they can continue to enjoy the view. One report recently released by Texas Department of Transportation explained that 432 motorcycle riders and 48 bicycle riders died in accidents on Texas roads in 2009 -- a number that is way too high, as the families of those lost would likely believe.
In response, the State of Texas started working closely with one organization dedicated to motorcycle and bicycle safety -- Share the Road! The organization regularly hosts events dedicated to bringing safety in the culture of riders so that everyone can continue to share the passion of the open road.
For example, about half of Texas riders who died were not wearing helmets, and these groups are making that known. In addition to having a good message, Share the Road! and other organizations, also sponsor events that can offer a lot of fun for riders and their family and friends alike.
The importance of making safety part of the culture among riders, and even a high priority, is simple -- motorcycles and bicycles share the road with cars, and a crash between them is not a fair fight. Drivers of cars are surrounded by a steel frame that helps keep them safe. Riders, on the other hand, only have what minimal protective gear they might be wearing to protect them in a crash, which often sends them falling to the road at high speeds.
Because of this, riders carry some responsibility to help make sure they are noticed by cars on the road by following well-respected safety rules of riding and wearing appropriate protective gear such as helmets and reflective tape. After all, even if the person driving a car makes the mistake that causes an accident, the person on the motorcycle is likely to pay a higher price.
Preventing a crash is the best way a rider can protect themselves while on the open road; surviving a motorcycle accident is much harder to do than surviving a car crash.
Source: "Cycle fatalities uncommon, officials say," Amarillo Globe-News, 1/6/12