Motorcycle safety is your responsibility. That’s true whether your ride of choice is a Harley, a Prius, an F-150, an 18-wheeler, or anything in between. Especially in Texas, which holds the distinction of having the 2nd-highest number of bikers in the country, it’s imperative that all drivers remain aware of their surroundings and keep an eye out for motorcycles, which are smaller than other vehicles and offer little protection for their riders.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 501 people on motorcycles were killed in the state in 2017. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in an accident than people in other types of vehicles. And that’s not even counting the thousands of motorcyclists who are injured every year. Because of their size, motorcycles may not be noticed by …
Scooters have emerged as an affordable and popular way to travel in the city, but there are unforeseen consequences of this trend.
One company, Lime, is feeling the squeeze after a woman crashed one of their rental stand-up scooters in Austin in early August, striking a curb and slamming head-first into the pavement, the Austin American-Statesman reports. The rider was not wearing a helmet, despite Lime’s policy that all riders must wear them.
Lime operates dockless electric scooters and pedal-assist bikes in more than 60 U.S. cities and several cities in Europe. To ride them, a customer can use the Lime app to find and unlock a scooter nearby, then park the scooter at the end of the ride and use the app to lock it. The goal of scooter-sharing companies like Lime and Bird, which have been called …
More than 400,000 motorcycles are registered in Texas, and large gatherings like the Republic of Texas Rally draw thousands of motorcyclists to Austin every year. Most drivers are accustomed to sharing the road with motorcyclists, but accident statistics suggest there is room for improvement.
In 2016, crashes in Texas killed 493 motorcyclists; about half of those crashes involved another vehicle, and many of those crashes occurred because a motorist did not see the motorcycle or misjudged its distance. With May being Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, now is a good time to brush-up on what you can do to avoid a collision with a motorcycle.
Check Your ‘Blind Spots’
Because of their relatively small size, motorcycles may be difficult to see when they enter a vehicle’s blind spot – that area of road that neither the side mirrors nor interior …
If you’re one of the more than 400,000 licensed motorcyclists in Texas, warmer weather means hitting the open road on your favorite two-wheeled vehicle. But if your bike’s been sitting in a garage for a while, make sure you inspect it before taking that first spring ride.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends that riders complete an annual T-CLOCS inspection, which stands for tires/wheels/brakes, controls, lights/electrics, oil/fluids, chassis, and stands. Here’s what that entails:
- Tires – Check the tread depth, and look for signs of wear, cracks, embedded objects, or bulges. Check the manufacturer’s recommended air pressure, and test your air pressure when the tires are cold. Inflate if necessary.
- Wheels – Look for any bent, broken, loose, or missing spokes. Inspect the cast for cracks and dents and make sure rims are true (spin the wheel against a
The Republic of Texas Biker Rally is the largest ticketed-admission motorcycle rally in the United States, drawing upwards of 40,000 visitors every year. The four-day event – which, this year, is June 8 through 11 – is normally a peaceful gathering. But every year, there are least a handful of incidents that require police involvement.
If you’re participating in ROT Rally this year, or attending as a spectator, make sure you’re aware of the kinds of incidents that have happened in the past, so you can steer clear of danger.
Previous ROT Rally Accidents and Arrests
The 2014 ROT Rally was the first since 2009 to end without a motorcycle-crash fatality. But there were at least 24 crashes during the event in 2014, a few of which seriously injured riders.
Alcohol is often a factor in ROT Rally crashes. …
Texas law requires first-time applicants for a motorcycle license to complete a basic 15-hour safety class, which combines classroom and hands-on training over the course of two or three days. About 200 training centers in Texas offer basic courses, along with intermediate, advanced, and specialized training. Whether you’re new to riding or you’re a seasoned motorcyclist, check out these reasons for taking a safety course:
- Try Before You Buy
The idea of riding a motorcycle may be appealing, but actually riding one is an entirely different experience. Basic safety courses provide loaner motorcycles for beginners, so you can figure out whether you like riding one before you buy one.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation also offers an online basic motorcycle education course that covers topics such as types of motorcycles, operation, the risks of riding, riding tips, and emergency procedures.…
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Office of Defects Investigation announced on July 6 that it would begin looking into several complaints of brake failures on Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The NHTSA was aware of 43 reports of anti-lock brakes failing as a result of brake fluid absorbing moisture, and two of those incidents had caused injuries.
About 430,000 motorcycles manufactured between 2008 and 2011 may be affected. The NHTSA press release about the investigation said that Harley-Davidson “has a two year brake fluid replacement interval which owners are either unaware of or ignore,” but that even if owners didn’t follow that maintenance recommendation, “the consequent sudden and complete loss of brake(s), without warning, is a concern.”
As of late July, the investigation had not been elevated to a formal recall, and no additional details had been published.
How Anti-Lock Brakes Work
What if everyone who owned a motorcycle picked the same day to ride it to work? That was a question first expressed in 1992, in a magazine column by Bob Carpenter. That year, the first unofficial international Ride to Work day occurred in July, as it did every year until 2008, when the non-profit organization Ride to Work moved the event to the third Monday in June – a cooler time of year in the United States and in some other countries that participate.
Ride to Work’s office is in Minnesota, but the organization has affiliates in 13 other countries, including Ecuador, Israel, Philippines, and Russia. Ride to Work expects that up to 1 million people in the U.S. and millions of other riders in affiliated countries will ride their motorcycles and scooters to work on June 20.