This route offers some of the best scenery this part of the state has to offer. Whether you begin or end your trip in Marfa or Alpine, there are numerous attractions to check out along the route or a few miles out of the way. The Marfa Lights, the McDonald Observatory, and the Terlingua “Ghost Town”, and of course Big Bend National Park, are all worth checking out along this route.
This route had fatal and incapacitating crashes between 2010 – 2021. In Texas, drivers are not assigned “at fault” in a crash, but law enforcement can assign ‘factors or conditions’ that contributed or may have contributed to a crash. Multiple ‘crash factors and conditions’ can be assigned to one, some, or all vehicles involved in a crash.
The following tables represent data extracted from the Texas Department of Transportation’s Crash Records Information System (TxDOT’s CRIS).
|Top Weather Crash Condition|
|Top Lighting Crash Condition|
|Top Road Crash Condition|
Crash Narrative Summary
The following list is a summary of the crash events and conditions that have been described by officers investigating crashes along this route. The investigating officer provides his/her opinion of how the crash happened and will emphasize or explain, as necessary, any pertinent facts that are not fully explained elsewhere on the crash report. This section is meant to supplement the above data tables by providing further insight and “clues” into what factors and conditions contributed or may have contributed to crashes along this route.
- Crashes along this route involved the tendency for motorcyclists to take curves at an unsafe speed, travel off the roadway, and then strike guardrails, delineators, and metal signs.
- 36% of motorcycle operators were not wearing a helmet. Full faced helmets offer the most protection. There are a variety of styles, weight, air flow, and other features for full faces at a range of different price points.
- 94% of crashes were single-vehicle. As tempting as it is to crack the throttle wide open when there are no other vehicles around, riders need to maintain self-control. Failure to control speed is one of the main contributing factors in motorcycle-only crashes.
- 12% of crashes on this route involved colliding with wildlife. Dusk is a problematic time for riders to be out. If you’re in the country, wildlife, such as deer, starts to come out. In traffic, people’s eyes are adjusting from daylight to headlights, making it harder for drivers to see motorcycles (MSF). Be alert for other animals such as buzzards and wild hogs.
- At night, use not only your headlight, but the headlights from other vehicles to survey the road surface. It is more difficult at night to see debris in the road.
- 75% of crashes along this route occurred on a curve. Many of these crashes involved riders who were traveling above the posted speed limit to safely negotiate the curve. Plan ahead and become familiar with your route so you're not surprised by sudden curves.
- Look where you want to go, not where you don't want to end up! Target fixation can cause you to drift out of your lane.
- Alcohol is not the only drug that affects your ability to ride safely. Whether it is an over-the-counter, prescription, or illegal drugs, it may have side effects that increase the risks of riding.