The danger of riding a motorcycle was demonstrated May 1 when a 26-year-old Stephenville resident was killed in a head-on collision with a pickup truck. The motorcyclist was traveling eastbound on Highway 6 near Dublin at 10:15 p.m. when the truck, traveling in the other direction, veered into oncoming traffic and hit the motorcycle. The collision caused the truck to flip over and eject the driver, a 29-year-old DeLeon resident. The truck driver was taken to a local hospital in critical condition but the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene.
In a motorcycle accident with a truck, or any large vehicle, the biker is always at a greater risk of injury or death. Even wearing a helmet, padding and protective clothing is no safety guarantee. Because the truck crossed over the line into oncoming traffic, authorities will most likely consider the truck driver to be legally at fault. Regardless of whose fault it is, in an accident like this a motorcycle rider is always at a disadvantage.
Families of accident victims involving a motorcycle need to know how they can be financially impacted in the aftermath. There have been some changes made in the state’s helmet law. Before 2009 Texas law required a person to have at least $10,000 in health insurance to cover injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident, in order to be able to legally ride a motorcycle without a helmet. In 2009 the law was repealed, and the helmet exemption sticker program ended.
There was no mention in the initial police report of any extenuating circumstances that caused the accident, such as drugs, alcohol or excessive speed. The accident may simply have been caused by fatigue, or the young truck driver’s inexperience behind the wheel. Regardless, if the case goes to court all parties involved can benefit from a consultation with a lawyer well versed in the state’s motorcycle and traffic laws.
Source: Stephenville Empire-Tribune, “Stephenville man killed in motorcycle accident,” Sara Vanden Berg, May 2, 2013
Texas Department of Public Safety, “Motorcycle Helmet Exemptions“