Automobile Drivers Have a Difficult Time Sharing the Road with Motorcyclists

Interviewer: Do you think thatregular automobile drivers have a difficult time understanding how to share the road with a motorcyclist?

Stephen Boutros: I think that sharing the road with motorcycles simply requires drivers to follow the law. You have certain duties when operating a motor vehicle in Harris County.

Interviewer: Do you think that other drivers that may sometimes even cause the accident have a difficult time trying to understand how to drive when there’s a motorcyclist around?

Stephen Boutros: You have certain legal duties in Texas when you operate a motor vehicle. You have to maintain a proper lookout. You have to keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. You have a legal duty to obey traffic control signals. You have a legal duty to drive attentively. You have a legal duty to timely apply your breaks, and so if a driver is fulfilling the legal duties that they have then they should be able to safely share the roadway with motorcycle operators okay, and motorcycle drivers. It requires following the law.That’s all that’s required. Obviously it’s easier to see a car than it is a motorcycle in a lot of circumstances.

People are looking for cars more than they are motorcycles, but if they are following the legal duties that are imposed on them then they should be able to safely share the road with motorcycle operators.

Texas Laws Provide for Safety of All People on the Roadway Regardless of the Type of Automobile Being Used

Interviewer: Have you ever seen any sort of incidents where there are automobile drivers that have a difficult time trying to understand how to drive safely around a motorcyclist, or they make a mistake that seriously hurts a motorcyclist?

Stephen Boutros: Well, a lot of times it does become the motorcycle operator’s responsibility to understand that drivers of automobiles and vehicles aren’t going to see them as easily. For example, when I’m representing people who are experienced motorcycle drivers. I know, because when I’m interviewing them they’ll tell me things like, “I never drive out of habit in the blind spot of a car on the roadway.” Or, they’ll tell me that when they’re driving through parking lots what they’ll often do is rev their engine to give notice that they’re coming. Motorcycle operators can take actions to make it more safe for themselves, but again the duties, the legal duties are still in place that if a driver of an automobile is fulfilling their legal duties then crashes shouldn’t occur.

Texas has driving safety rules that are put in place to protect all people on the roadway. Not just operators of vehicles, but operators of motorcycles and bicycles. A lot of times when I hear drivers try to defend themselves saying, “Oh I couldn’t see the motorcycle, the motorcycle’s small,” I’ll ask them, “Well what about a bicycle?” If it was someone on a bicycle coming down the street, and you hit them would you say, “Oh it’s not my fault because they were on a bicycle?”

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