The 44-mile loop west of Houston takes you through scenic farmland alongside the Brazos River. This ride is a great escape for riders in the Houston area. The Stephen F. Austin State Park is in the northwest corner of this route and offers campsites, an 18-hole golf course, hiking trails and more.
This route had fatal and incapacitating crashes between 2010 – 2022. 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.
- 85% of motorcycle operators had a valid motorcycle license. Though the majority of motorcyclists had a Class M Endorsement, it never hurts to sharpen up on your skills by taking an advanced course. Fate will not tap you on the shoulder and give advanced notice when these skills will be needed.
- 85% of crashes were single vehicle. Do not grow complacent when riding in rural areas, or areas without heavy traffic.
- 77% of crashes occurred along a curve. Crashes along this route tended to involve motorcyclists taking curves at an unsafe speed, traveling off road, and striking road signs or coming to rest in ditches. Control your speed in a curve. Get to the speed you want to maintain before entering the curve.
- For emergency braking, the MSF recommends applying both brakes to their maximum, just short of locking them up. You’ll need to practice this in an open, well-surfaced parking lot (MSF). If you need to emergency brake, keep the motorcycle upright and straight. Look where you are going, not where you’ve just been (MSF).
- Motorcycles are harder to see due to their smaller size and there are many human factors that can cause a motorcycle to be missed during a motorists’ check for traffic. Never assume a driver sees you just because they are looking your way.
- Help your fellow rider who has had too much to drink by calling them a cab, Uber, or friend/family member who can pick them up.
- While riding in the country, avoid riding at dusk when wildlife is prone to come out.
- Don’t be complacent while riding in the country, be proactive. Assess the situation all around you and determine which vehicle poses the greatest threat.