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Galveston motorcycle pack ride raises worries about safety

There are a lot of situations in which the idea of safety in numbers applies. In urban settings, it's generally considered a bad idea to go out at night unless you're in the company of at least one other person, if not several.

But there can be times when the instinct to herd might not always be in everyone's best interest. Motorcycling in large groups might serve as an example. As one recent incident in Galveston suggests, it's possible for behavior to get a bit out of hand when individuals are swept up in the activities of a crowd.

What can happen then, as it did in this case, is someone winds up getting hurt in a motorcycle accident. In this instance, authorities say that the motorcyclists involved have no one to blame but themselves for the accidents and injuries that occurred. All too often, though, accidents occur because other drivers' negligence.

It's in the wake of these kinds of events that it might serve to review some safety tips. What follows are some basic suggestions offered up by the Texas Department of Transportation.

One of the first things state safety officials reinforce is that all drivers have an obligation to be properly licensed. And once licensed, all drivers have an obligation to remember the importance of sharing the road.

But beyond that, there are specific things that motorcyclists are urged to do to enhance their safety and the safety of others. These include:

  • Take cycle safety training. The state runs programs offering certified classes that offer basic and advanced training. The first is required to get a Class M license. The other helps riders develop skills on defensive maneuvering and riding in poor weather conditions.
  • Wear a helmet. While it's generally acknowledged that every rider should wear a helmet, state law doesn't require licensed riders 21 and over to do so if they have appropriate insurance. Wearing protective outer clothing is also recommended.
  • Be visible. Wear bright colored clothes and make sure the lights on your vehicle work and are on.
  • Follow the law. There's a speed limit for a reason. And while there is only one, there are many different types of motor vehicles. By their nature, motorcycles are the least safe.  

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