They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and that includes our love for motorcycles. In 2017 alone, state government statistics showed more than 386,938 bikes registered in Texas — the sixth-highest total in the country. But Texas also leads the way in a much less desirable metric: our state generally ranks either first or second in the country each year for the total number of fatal motorcycle crashes.
In 2016, 463 motorcyclists were killed on Texas roads. In addition, 33 motorcycle passengers lost their lives, 1,861 motorcycle riders and 147 passengers suffered critical injuries, and thousands more suffered other injuries in motorcycle crashes.
Below, we’ll discuss motorcycle crash injuries, common causes of motorcycle accidents, how to stay safe while riding, and what to do if you have been injured or lost a loved one in a motorcycle collision.
“In 2016, 463 motorcyclists were killed on Texas roads.”
Common Motorcycle Injuries
Motorcycle injuries are often serious because bikers have little to protect them from an impact with another vehicle, from obstacles, or even from the ground. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some of the most common injuries in a motorcycle crash are:
Head Injuries and TBIs
The most common types of injuries from motorcycle accidents are head injuries, which include concussions, skull fractures, and even brain damage. A brain injury could range from a contusion to a traumatic brain injury (TBI), which can be debilitating or even fatal.
While bones are one of the strongest parts of the human body, they’re still vulnerable and often break in a vehicle crash. Whether it’s an arm, a leg, or the spine, any fracture can be painful and costly.
Neck and Spine Injuries
Whether it’s a fracture to the vertebrae, a slipped disc, herniation, or other injuries, spinal cord damage of any kind can result in paralysis and painful consequences for the rest of the rider’s life.
Also known as road rash, friction burns result when a rider slides across the pavement in a motorcycle accident, resulting in serious and painful skin damage. It can also lead to infections of the skin and even nerve damage.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents happen for a variety of reasons, the most common being:
In 2016, 23% of motorcycles involved in fatal crashes collided with fixed objects. The same figure for passenger cars was 17%. (Distraction often results in collisions with fixed objects, which the riders presumably would have been able to avoid if they were paying attention.) Distracted driving is also a major cause of other drivers crashing into motorcyclists.
Crash data from recent years shows that around 33% of all motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were speeding. But even when motorcyclists are obeying the speed limit, other drivers’ speeding causes collisions or makes collisions worse. In fact, speeding kills over 10,000 people each year in the United States.
Motorcycle Lane Splitting
Lane splitting occurs when a motorcycle drives between two lanes of stopped or slowly moving cars, usually in tight traffic. This is incredibly dangerous due to the close proximity of the cars to the motorcycle, the tiny amount of the space the rider has to maneuver, and the fact that drivers rarely anticipate a motorcycle passing them in between lanes. While lane splitting is not technically illegal in Texas, it’s a dangerous practice that riders should avoid.
Even though everyone knows that driving drunk is illegal and puts lives at risk, 28% of 2017 motor vehicle fatalities in Texas involved a driver under the influence of alcohol.
Cars Making Left-Hand Turns
Collisions that result when a car turns left and hits a rider make up 42% of all wrecks involving a motorcycle and car. In most cases, the turning car hits the motorcycle when the rider is going straight through an intersection, passing the car, or trying to overtake the car.
The Texas Helmet Law
One of the easiest ways to protect yourself from serious injuries in a motorcycle crash is to wear a helmet. Wearing a helmet reduces your risk of death by almost 40% and drops the risk of head injury by almost 70%. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that if all motorcycle riders wore helmets, it would prevent billions of dollars in losses related to medical care, property damage, lost productivity, and lost quality of life. In fact, experts estimate that the medical costs from injuries suffered by un-helmeted motorcyclists add up to $250 million every year.
One reason that Texas has such a high motorcycle crash fatality rate could be because our state doesn’t have a universal helmet law in place. Individuals residing in Texas are not required to wear a helmet if they are over the age of 21 and can show proof of adequate health insurance. At Crosley Law, we recommend that everyone wear protective gear, including a helmet, any time they ride.
Safety Precautions for Motorcycle Riders
Along with wearing a helmet, there are other simple ways to reduce the risk of serious injury or death while riding a motorcycle:
Since almost a third of motorcyclists killed in traffic were speeding, one of the easiest ways to reduce your risk of a crash is to obey posted speed limits. The faster you go, the longer it will take you to stop and the harder you will hit something in a collision.
Always stay aware of your surroundings and leave enough space between your motorcycle and other vehicles. Don’t assume that a driver can see you, always ride with your headlights on, stay out of drivers’ blind spots, use your turn signals, and watch out for turning vehicles.
Don’t Drink and Drive
It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a motorcycle or a car — sober is the only way you should operate a vehicle.
Crosley Law: Fighting for Texas Motorcycle Accident Victims
If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash, you deserve guidance and advocacy from an experienced and respected injury lawyer. At Crosley Law, we focus on handling serious injury claims, especially those involving motor vehicle accidents. We pride ourselves on our dedication and commitment to our clients. To schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys today, complete our online contact form or call us at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000.
Motorcycle injury prevention. (2016, August 5). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/policy/hst/hi5/motorcycleinjury/
Powell, T. (2018, May). Motorcycle traffic fatalities by state: 2017 preliminary data. Washington, D.C.: Governor’s Highway Safety Association. Retrieved from https://www.ghsa.org/sites/default/files/2018-05/ghsa_motorcyclists18.pdf
Texas motor vehicle traffic crash facts: Calendar year 2017. (2018, April 20). Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved from http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/trf/crash_statistics/2017/01.pdf
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2018, February). Traffic safety facts (DOT HS 812 492). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved from https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812492
Weyant, C. (2018, May 9). What state has the most motorcycle accidents? Consumer News. Retrieved from
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
Related ArticlesView All Blog Articles
Who is at fault in a T-bone accident in Texas?Feb 02, 2024
If you have been involved in a T-bone car accident, read this blog to learn who could be at-fault and how Crosley Law can help.
Understanding Personal Injury MediationJan 31, 2024
Personal injury mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process that can help both sides in a personal injury case negotiate a settlement and avoid a trial.
What Is the Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in Texas?Dec 21, 2023
If you’ve recently lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, certain surviving family members may be entitled to recover compensation for funeral and burial expenses, lost income and financial support, loss of companionship and guidance, mental anguish, and other losses. However, you only have a limited amount of time to file a wrongful […]
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Settlements: How Much Is My TBI Case Worth?Dec 16, 2023
Few injuries have the ability to profoundly alter the course of someone’s life the way that a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can. Although every TBI is different, common symptoms include sleep disorders, memory loss, inability to concentrate, post-traumatic stress disorder, or even changes in personality. Skills you spent a lifetime acquiring might be gone. Relationships […]
Does Health Insurance Cover Car Accidents in Texas?Dec 13, 2023
After an auto accident, medical bills start to pile up quickly. Even if all you need is a quick trip to the emergency room and a couple follow-up appointments with a specialist, your medical expenses could still be enough to cause economic hardship. You may have heard that, in Texas, the at-fault driver is supposed […]
Quick Guide to Car Accident Face Injuries and Your Personal Injury ClaimDec 07, 2023
Facial trauma is an all-too-common yet often overlooked injury in San Antonio auto collisions. The head, face, and neck are all incredibly vulnerable in high-impact motor vehicle collisions. Whether from the initial impact, shattered glass, deployment of airbags, or being thrust into the interior of the vehicle, drivers and passengers frequently sustain painful and serious […]
Delayed Concussion Symptoms and Post-Concussion Syndrome Following a Motor Vehicle Crash: The Lingering ImpactJul 12, 2023
Concussions are among the most frequent injuries brought on by car accidents. Unfortunately, sometimes even “mild” concussions can have disastrous effects. While many people fully recover from their concussion, a significant percentage (roughly 15 to 20 percent) still experience persistent post-concussion symptoms months or even years after the initial head injury. And because concussion symptoms […]
How to Deal With a Private Investigator After a Car AccidentApr 21, 2023
After a car wreck, you may feel like your every move is being scrutinized. Unfortunately, it may not be just your imagination. If you notice an unfamiliar car parked in front of your home, school, or workplace; or if you receive a strange friend request on social media, a private investigator might be tracking your […]
What Is the Average Payout for a Rear-End Collision?Mar 13, 2023
You were stopped at a red light, minding your own business. Suddenly, a truck rear-ends you, pushing your car into the middle of an intersection. Now, you’re living with severe back pain and your doctors are suggesting surgery. Your car accident case is worth a lot of money, right? Maybe. The reality is, there’s no […]
I’m Being Blamed for a Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault—What Should I Do?Feb 22, 2023
“My word against your word” scenarios happen all the time after auto accidents, especially when there are few other witnesses at the scene. Being accused of causing a car crash that wasn’t your fault can make you feel helpless and angry, especially when no one else is around to support your story. Getting blamed for […]
Do you or a family member
need legal advice?
Crosley Law Firm, PC is a professional corporation of trial lawyers focused on representing individuals and families who have suffered serious personal injuries or wrongful death.