Ride into the Weekend: Checklist for Motorcyclists

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.

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Make 2018 a Year to Look Twice

The new year is a great time to make a resolution to look twice for motorcycles while driving. Most motorcycle-vehicle crashes happen when a driver turns left in front of the rider. Drivers often don’t see the rider, or if they do, they misjudge the rider’s speed or distance. Motorcycles can move fast and are often hard to spot. When turning left, especially at intersections, always double-check the cross traffic.

TxDOT Offers On-Site Motorcycle Safety Presentations

Want your motorcycle club or group members to be safer when riding and reduce the potential for deadly crashes?

Riding motorcycles involves an element of risk. Contributing to the danger is a lack of knowledge amongst riders of what the real risks are and the strategies they can use to avoid crashes. Through the efforts of the Texas Department of Transportation and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, motorcycle crashes have been extensively researched and that research shows that most can be avoided by the actions of a knowledgeable and skillful rider, but we need to share this information to reduce crashes.

TxDOT offers a free on-site presentation of this valuable and life-saving information to your club or group as part of on-going rider safety efforts. For further information or to schedule a presentation, please contact:

Jude Schexnyder
Motorcycle Safety Program Manager
(512) 832-7035
Email: jude.schexnyder@txdot.gov

Let’s all work together to stay riding safe.

Share the Road | Tips for Motorists

Look Before a Left, the Right Way

Most motorcycle-vehicle crashes happen when a driver turns left in front of the rider. Drivers often don’t see the rider, or if they do, they misjudge the rider’s speed or distance. Motorcycles can move fast and are often hard to spot. When turning left, especially at intersections, always double-check the cross traffic.

Share the Road

It’s true that a motorcycle takes up less space in the lane. But remember, whether passing a motorcycle or following one in your lane, the rider requires the same amount of reaction time you do. Give a motorcycle the same space you’d give any other vehicle. Don’t tailgate — give motorcycles a four-second following distance.

Avoid Riders in Your Blind Spot

Motorcycles present a narrow profile, and they can wind up in your blind spot in a hurry. Being aware of your surroundings—and all the vehicles around you—will improve safety for everyone on the road.

 

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TMSC Meeting Minutes | November 16, 2017

The Texas Motorcycle Safety Coalition met on November 16 to discuss a number of items. Highlights include:

  • Legislative Update
  • FHWA Instrastructure-Based Motorcycle Crash Countermeasures Project
  • TTI Motorcycle Mapping Project
  • Comprehensive Motorcycle Crash Analysis Feedback
  • Motorcycle Registration Dedicated Funding Discussion
  • Open Discussion & Adjourn

The meeting 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.