Stay warm while riding in winter


It’s wintertime and the temperatures make it hard for riders to find warmth on the roadways. However, with the proper attire, riders can stay safe from the cold throughout the season. There are several different options for winter riding gear.

Some riders choose to wear heated gear. Everything from heated body suits to heated gloves is on the market. Others choose to wear multiple layers with a wind-proof shell. For example, wearing breathable layers underneath a leather layer will provide warmth and protection from the wind. Other items that are winter appropriate are: insulated boots and gloves, a fog-proof helmet and a balaclava.

Frostbite and hypothermia are risks when riding in the cold temperatures, so make sure to bundle up during the winter season!

Ever wonder what the temperature is at riding speeds? View these charts to calculate wind chill.


Promoting Motorcycle Safety at the San Antonio Auto Show

IMG_2835The Texas A&M Transportation Institute motorcycle safety team will educate riders about motorcycle safety at the 2015 San Antonio Auto Show in San Antonio, November 19 through 22.

Get more information about tickets and events on the San Antonio Auto Show website.

Come join us, and grab your free items such as tip cards, helmet stickers, coasters and more to do your part in spreading motorcycle safety awareness. We’re located in the B Ballroom.


New Findings: Motivations Behind Wearing Motorcycle Safety Gear

motorcycle rider-crop-u2994The last issue of Safetynet introduced readers to a new project conducted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s (TTI) Human Factors Program — a plan to address the problem of riders not wearing protective gear, which is more than just helmets. (Read last issue’s story: Researchers Investigate Motorcyclists’ Motivations for Wearing Safety Gear.)

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Texas Motorcycle Safety Coalition, and TTI are excited to report the findings of 200 survey responses from Texas motorcycle riders. TTI researchers discovered riders’ motivations for wearing (or not wearing) safety gear and what messaging could convince them to wear more.

Mike Manser, Human Factors Program manager and principal investigator on the project explains, “We want to first find out what are the underlying reasons that motivate a rider to wear their gear, and second, build a message that is consistent with the survey results.”

The goal of this project, sponsored by TxDOT’s Motorcyclists Safety Equipment Use program, was to:

  1.  Understand why Texas riders do not wear safety equipment;
  2.  Identify information that would promote gear use; and
  3.  Develop an outreach program to educate riders.

 TxDOT has a strong history of working in the area of motorcycle rider safety and recently expanded to include a more in depth look at motorcyclists’ gear usage, starting with this project.

Reasons why riders do and do not wear safety gearFindings

It’s safe to say many groups in the motorcycle safety community promote “All the Gear, All the Time” (ATGATT). Based on the survey, half of the riders responded that they wear all their gear all the time, and the other half said that they wear some of the gear, some of the time. The shocking aspect is that most riders didn’t understand the scope of the term “all the gear” and reported that they did not wear all seven pieces of motorcycle safety gear — a helmet, a padded jacket, eyewear, gloves, padded riding pants, riding boots, and an armored vest — every time they rode their motorcycle. Based on this analysis researchers concluded ATGATT requires clarification, which is why all motorcycle safety gear will be worked into education campaign messaging.

Another essential piece to this study was determining what would convince riders to wear more gear. The top responses were:

  • Odds of surviving a crash with and without gear;
  • Information about the types of injuries that could be reduced by safety gear; and/ or,
  • Pressure from family or friends to wear more gear.

These results and more helped develop messaging, graphics and imagery for educational outreach materials used by the Texas Motorcycle Safety Coalition and TxDOT.

“We want to grow this study to get an idea of motorcycle riders’ motivations nationally.” Manser said. “Two hundred responses is a small sample, and efforts are underway to expand that sample to get a better read on what’s truly going on.”

Project findings, analyses and deliverables are now in the hands of TxDOT who will continue to share these deliverables as part of their Look Learn Live motorcycle safety and awareness campaign.

Tips for Motorcyclists

motorcycle_countryroadGet training on your motorcycle!  If you are self-taught or have only taken a Basic Rider Course on a training motorcycle, advance your skills.  Motorcycling is more enjoyable and safer when you have the skills that match the performance of your street machine.  Many intermediate and advanced level courses are available in Texas that could qualify you for lower insurance rates.

Wear all the gear all the time.  Motorcycle specific clothing is designed to work best.  Sure it’s not cheap, but it is a lot cheaper than a skin graft or an extended recovery period off your motorcycle due to injury.  Be sure to research the gear that is available and buy the best you can afford, before you buy extra chrome for your machine

Be Prepared. Routinely practice your emergency braking and swerving skills in a parking lot with a good traction surface.  If you ride with a passenger, practice with them aboard as well (at safer speeds).  Fate will not tap you on the shoulder and give advanced notice when these skills will be needed.

Never drink and ride. Successfully riding a motorcycle requires exceptional visual, cognitive and physical skill sets that not everyone possesses.  Drinking negatively impacts all of these skills. This is one of the most common causes of motorcycle fatalities.

Riding a motorcycle is fun, pushing one is not.  Include a pre-ride check of your machine to ensure all is in proper working order.  Check the tires, control functions, lights and electrics, gas, oil, brake fluid levels, and suspension movement.  If you have a chain drive motorcycle make sure the chain is correctly adjusted and lubricated.

Keep the following on your motorcycle at all times (under seat compartments work great):

  • Tire pressure gauge,
  • Tire repair kit,
  • Small air compressor or several CO2 cartridges,
  • Replacement headlight bulb,
  • Small first aid kit,
  • Zip ties,
  • Super glue, and
  • Duct tape (wrap several yards around a pencil to take up less space).

Carry a tire repair kit and know how to use it since tire failures happen outside of cellphone coverage areas.  If you ask nicely, you can likely practice your tire repair skills on an old tire at your local dealership.

Consider a roadside assistance plan.  Many motorcycle insurance companies offer this as an option.  Also, the American Motorcycle Association has a plan that covers all of your vehicles included with membership.

Raising Motorcycle Safety Awareness at Lone Star Rally

12091432_894317077290294_5531076474535852415_oThe Texas A&M Transportation Institute team will promote motorcycle safety at the Lone Star Rally, Nov. 5 through 8 in Galveston, Texas.

Come see us at our booth – we’re on the corner of 21st Street and the Strand.

The rally will have a bike giveaway, car and truck shows, musical entertainment and various bike events.

Come join us, and grab your free items such as tip cards, helmet stickers, coasters and more to do your part in spreading motorcycle safety awareness. Admission is FREE. Visit the Lone Star Rally website to learn more information.

TMSC Meeting Minutes – October 2, 2015

The Texas Motorcycle Safety Coalition met on October 2 to discuss a number of items including new outreach materials, upcoming events and the Motorcycle Strategic Plan. The minutes are now available to download.

The TMSC serves as a public forum for addressing strategies to improve motorcycle safety; discusses effective programs, regulations, and other opportunities to improve motorcycle safety; reviews, proposes, and makes recommendations concerning motorcycle-related legislation; and serves to promote rider safety and inform the public about being aware of motorcycles and sharing the road safely.

Find minutes from other meetings here.

December 4 | Texas Motorcycle Safety Coalition Meeting

Texas Motorcycle Safety Coalition logo

Join us for the Texas Motorcycle Safety Coalition (TMSC) meeting, December 4, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The meeting will be held in College Station, Texas, at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute in the Gibb Gilchrist Building, room 102. Both members and non-members are invited to attend the meeting. Please RSVP via email by December 1, and indicate if you will drive a state vehicle, personal vehicle or motorcycle so we can have an accurate headcount and correct parking permits. Lunch will be provided at no charge.

The TMSC serves as a public forum for addressing strategies to improve motorcycle safety; discusses effective programs, regulations, and other opportunities to improve motorcycle safety; reviews, proposes, and makes recommendations concerning motorcycle-related legislation; and serves to promote rider safety and inform the public about being aware of motorcycles and sharing the road safely. Sign up to get involved with the coalition. For more information about the coalition or to see past meeting minutes, go to the TMSC page.

Motorcycle Safety Prezi – Now Available for Download

Do you have a motorcycle safety event coming up? Or maybe you would like to give a presentation to your local club or coalition. Look no further – Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s motorcycle safety team has created a presentation just for you.

Download the presentation.

Download the presentation.

The presentation is in Prezi and can be downloaded if you don’t have a wireless internet connection. You can also set it to play automatically. We will be coming out with a motorist awareness presentation soon, so keep an eye out.

Find other materials on our media page.


Spreading Motorist Awareness at the Wings Over Houston Airshow


Join the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s motorcycle safety team on October 17th and 18th at the Wings Over Houston Airshow in Houston, Texas. The team will be handing out free patches, reflective helmet stickers, bumper stickers, activity books, kickstand coasters and sticky pads at the booth.

We will be targeting motorists with the Look Twice for Motorcycles and Share the Road campaigns.

Gates open at 8 a.m. on Saturday, October 17. Ticketing information can be found on the Wings Over Houston Airshow website.

New video series from Washington Motorcycle Safety Program

The Washington Motorcycle Safety Program has released a new video series, “Training is Everything.” This is the full-length video in the series, “Training is Everything: Getting More From Your Ride.” It is filled with stunning cinematography and powerful interviews, presenting a compelling case for all riders to sign up for initial and continued motorcycle training.