Standard passenger vehicles like cars, vans, station wagons and SUVs are supposed to share the road with smaller vehicles. In Texas, motorcycles, mopeds and bicycles can all legally drive on public roads, and motorcycles of a minimum size can also drive on highways, freeways and interstates.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of drivers who fail to understand that sharing the road means checking for smaller vehicles, like motorcycles, and yielding to them when they have the right of way. Staying safe when you ride is important to everyone who loves you, including your family.

Texas wants you to be safe, too. That’s why the state has laws about helmets. Both drivers and passengers should wear helmets. The helmet requirement can be waived in certain situations, including carrying adequate health insurance or completing a motorcycle safety class.

While Texas doesn’t require any additional safety equipment, it is usually in your best interest to invest in specialized clothing to reduce the risk of road rash or other injuries in the event of a collision or spill while riding. Keeping yourself safe should be a top priority because there’s a real risk of harm.

Motorcycle accidents can be devastating

When a motorcycle crashes with a larger, heavier vehicle, the bigger vehicle almost always wins. The motorcycles and its rider could easily be badly hurt. Accidents could involve getting run over, getting knocked off your bike or even getting thrown into traffic. Broken bones, spinal injuries and head injuries are all a possibility.

You could require surgery and physical therapy to regain your mobility or full function. You could also end up unable to work while you’re recovering which could end up financially devastating for you and your family.

It only takes a second of distraction for a person in an enclosed vehicle to negatively impact the life of a motorcycle driver. Failing to carefully check on either side before merging or turning could cause irreparable damage. Many motorcycle-car crashes take place because the person in the bigger vehicle wasn’t paying attention or thinking about the potential for a smaller vehicle.

These kinds of mistakes are even easier to make when the person driving the bigger vehicle gets distracted or is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Texting or looking at a cell phone can easily cause an accident. So can changing the channel on the radio, arguing with a passenger or eating while driving. Bigger vehicles are easier to spot, so bikers may pay the price for someone’s distraction. If you or someone you love has sustained serious injuries in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver, you should carefully consider your options before settling with an insurance company or resigning yourself to paying for the injuries and damages.