Texas Drivers: Share the Road

One of the first things you are taught in a Defensive Driving Texas course is how to share the road with motorcyclist, bicyclists and pedestrians. The road belongs to everyone, regardless of the type of vehicle you are driving or riding, even if you are using the oldest method of transportation "Shoe Leather Express" - walking!

It is not just up to cars to share the roads. It is just as important for motorcyclist, bicyclists and pedestrians to follow the rules of the road to remain safe. When you set out to go somewhere regardless of the type of transportation you are using, everyone’s goal is the same to get to where they need or want to go safely.

Be a Courteous Driver and Drive Safe

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), strives to remind drivers when you get in your vehicle, drive courteously and safely. With the prices of fuel continuing to rise and the increase in road maintenance in Texas, drivers are sharing the roads with a lot more motorcyclist, bicyclists and pedestrians than ever before.

Sadly, many drivers refuse to obey traffic laws or simply ignore them, this action creates an enormous amount of safety issues for everyone involved. As a driver you are expected to know and obey all of the state of Texas’s driving laws, if you are unaware of them in you need to take a Defensive Driving Texas course to ensure everyone on the road safety. In fact, motorcyclist, bicyclists and pedestrians would also benefit from the course.

Drivers who surpass the speed limit or do not pay attention while driving (texting, talking on the phone, etc.…) or pay don’t pay attention to the road conditions, increase the likelihood of being involved in a car accident, with injuries and fatalities that has devastating consequences for everyone involved.

The Statistics

  • The most recent statistics are from 2012.
  • Cars on Texas roadways hit more than 5,000 pedestrians, which resulted in 481 fatalities and 2,962 serious injuries.
  • Cars on Texas roadways also hit just over 2,000 bicyclists resulting in 56 fatalities and 1,450 serious injuries.
  • In 2012, when the kids returned to school in the late summer/early fall the state of Texas saw a 13% increase in pedestrian fatalities and a 19% increase in bicyclist fatalities.

Safety Tips

  • Look for pedestrians
  • Never block crosswalks
  • Watch for bicyclists and be sure not to drive in the bike lane
  • Always adjust your speed for the current road conditions

Safety Tips for Pedestrians

  • If there is a sidewalk available, use it! The majority of pedestrian accidents occur when a pedestrian is walking in the road.
  • As a pedestrian you have to be very alert while crossing the road.
  • Always walk on the right side of crosswalks.
  • If the road does not have a sidewalk, always walk facing traffic on the left side of the road.
  • Beware of traffic when you walk out from behind parked cars or step off a bus.

Safety Tips for Bicyclists

As a bicyclist, you have to obey the same traffic laws as cars, including the following:

  • Stop at stop signs/yield signs and red lights
  • Ride in the same direction as cars
  • Ride on the road close to the curb or sidewalk
  • Make sure your bike has a light on the front of it and a red light on the back if you ride at night
  • Be sure to use your arm and hand to signal when you are going to stop or turn. The specific signs can be found in any drivers manual.

Tips for Bicyclists

  • Always wear a helmet that fits your head properly, it decreases the chances of death or a serious head injury if you are involved in an accident
  • Be sure to check your tires and brakes before you start your ride
  • Wear light colored clothes or a reflective shirt/pants/jacket to make yourself more visible to drivers.

Safety Tips for Motorcyclists

  • All motorcycle riders under 21 years old are required by the state of Texas to wear a properly fitted helmet when driving a motorcycle.
  • Riders who are over 21 years old may ride without a helmet. However, the rider must have motorcycle insurance and completed a motorcycle safety course.

Tips for Motorcyclists

Motorcyclists must protect themselves to stay safe.

  • Always wear a proper fitting helmet (even if you are not required to) wear a motorcycle jacket, pants, and gloves and any other protective gear
  • Try to avoid the center lane when driving on the highway, debris and oil like to accumulate in this lane for some reason
  • Ride in the middle of your lane, so cars can see you

As you can see, there are a lot of good reasons to spend a few hours taking a Defensive Driving Texas course it just may save your life!


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