An Overview of Motorcycle Accidents in Texas
Interviewer: In the Houston, Texas area,have you seen an increase or decrease of motorcycle accidents? Do you think the roads are safer?
Stephen Boutros: An absolute increase. I think that when you see gas prices increase the way they have here; as well as difficulty parking, and the heavier traffic becomes, the more motorcycle traffic you see, because obviously motorcycles are much more fuel efficient. They’re easier to park, and quite frankly they’re easier to drive in heavy traffic.
Motorcycles are Popular Due to a Variety of Reasons
Interviewer: Do you think it’s also more of a popular thing as well too? Do you think people just like, “Hey I want to get a motorcycle?”
Stephen Boutros: Yeah, I think that there’s that aspect to it as well. Motorcycles, it’s been a long time since I thought were unpopular.
I think people ride motorcycles for a variety of reasons. Some just enjoy it feeling free, but also it’s a convenient way to travel. The problem with it is that it’s a potentially dangerous way to travel as well. People … Drivers although they’re legally obligated to, don’t look for motorcycles. I’ve heard insurance defense lawyers try to manipulate juries by asking motorcycle rides questions like, “Isn’t it true that when riding a motorcycle your body is surrounding the vehicle, as opposed to inside of a car the vehicle is surrounding you?” In essence your body is protecting the vehicle on a motorcycle, whereas in the vehicle is protecting your body in a car.
The Type of Motorcycle Being Ridden Has an Impact on Jury’s Final Verdict
Interviewer: Is there a difference in motorcycles? Like the type of motorcycles?
Stephen Boutros: Yeah, absolutely. I think that insurance companies make their decisions based on what they think juries will do at the case. Juries are much more forgiving of motorcycle riders who are riding larger motorcycles. I think they’re sometimes referred to as hogs or Harley’s, motorcycles of that nature. When a person is riding the Crotch Rockets, the Ninjas, the motorcycles of that nature then jurors assume that person is a speed demon, who was probably driving dangerously. Thrill seekers, and also you often see motorcycles of that nature, the Crotch Rockets, people riding in pacts and riding dangerously, and so those motorcycles carry a stigma with them now. That they’re driven fast, and people speed, and they’re driven dangerously.
Safety Laws Pertaining To Motorcycles in the State Of Texas
Interviewer: What are some of the helmet laws that we have here?
Stephen Boutros: Texas Law allows you to operate a motorcycle without a helmet if you carry major medical health insurance, or if you’ve taken a motorcycle driving education course. You have your motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license. If either of those two things apply, you have major medical health insurance, or you’ve taken a motorcycle education safety course, then you are not required to wear a helmet in the state of Texas.