AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and TxDOT is reminding drivers through its "Share The Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles" campaign to be extra alert and to share the roadways.
John Ames has been riding motorcycles for years.
After he was seriously hurt in a crash he didn't hesitate to teach his 17-year-old daughter Danielle Ames to stay extra alert of motorcyclist while on road.
"The responsibility of what you're dealing with and how careful you need to be. It can be real bad in seconds, you know just making a wrong turn," said John Ames.
While Danielle has only been driving for a couple years, on Sunday she took a part in a virtual reality simulator that mimics actual road conditions.
"This simulation will help me realize how hard it is for motorcyclist to do anything about how you're driving and you need to be more careful of them," said Danielle.
The simulation is all part of the 'Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles," program.
Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation say they hope it will give drivers a realistic look from behind the wheel.
"That a motorcycle can zip pass you without you noticing," said Brad Wheelis, with the Texas Department of Transportation.
Wheelis says more than half of fatal motorcycle crashes result from collisions with other vehicles. Drivers simply don't see the motorcyle or misjudge its distance and speed. The small size of motorcycles can make them appear farther away when they're actually closer.
The campaign launched a few years ago and officials with TxDOT say it's already reduced the number of motorcycle deaths in the Lone Star State.
They say thanks to the initiative the number of reported deaths have been reduced by 17% but say there's still work to do.
"We still have a lot of work to do to keep those motorcyclist safe," said Wheelis.
According to data collected by TxDOT, last year 417 motorcyclists died on Texas roads and more than a 1,000 were seriously injured. Averaging more than one death a day.
Officials say one of the most common crashes between motorcyclists and drivers occur when making left turns at intersections.
They say in 2018, 30% of reported motorcycle deaths in Texas were due to intersection related crashes.
Which officials say can be easily reduced by following these easy steps:
- Look twice, especially at intersections.
- Use turn signals and check blind spots before changing lanes.
- Avoid turning in front of motorcyclist and always assume they are closer than they appear.
- Remember to maintain a safe distance and obey speed limits.
It's been a while since John has hit the open road on his bike.
He says by sharing the responsibility and educating the community everyone will be a lot safer.
"Look twice because the life you take may not be your own. It may be a friend of yours or someone that you never met that has family and children. They have people that care for them," said John.