Brasure Law Firm, PLLC

By: Chris Brasure

Am I Required to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in Texas?

Motorcycle Accidents Personal Injury

What Are Some Facts About Texas Motorcycle Helmet Laws.

Motorcycle enthusiasts abound in Texas, and if you’re one of them, you love to ride your bike. Also, every biker knows that there are certain risk factors involved. The main risk is that motorcyclists are highly vulnerable to injury when they’re out on Texas roads.

Compared to all commercial vehicles, cars, SUV’s large trucks, etc., if you’re on a bike and have an accident, there’s very little protection for you as the rider. Your helmet is one of these protections, and if designed to Federal and Texas State safety codes, it can help protect your head from severe, life-threatening injuries like a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury).

However, many things are not outlawed and are detrimental to your health, such as smoking, drinking too much, sugary drinks that cause obesity, and more. How fair is it to single out motorcyclists with mandatory helmet regulations?

Essentially, Texas gives you a choice. Generally, every motorcycle driver must wear a helmet while operating their motorcycle. It is also illegal for a passenger with a helmet to ride with a rider who is not. Also, these helmets should meet minimum safety standards.

So, is it illegal to ride my motorcycle without a helmet? The answer is definitive. In Texas, there are insurance and age requirements that must be met by the driver (and usually the passenger) before you can legally ride your bike without wearing a helmet.

So, in Texas, if you want to ride without your helmet, you must be:

  • Twenty-one years of age or older.
  • Covered by an applicable motorcycle health insurance plan.
  • Also, you must complete a motorcycle operator training and safety course.

Also, usually, unless you’re stopped for another traffic violation while riding, the police cannot stop you just to check for your health insurance.

Like most Texas (and all state regulations), the state’s vehicle safety and helmet laws can be confusing and often enforced unfairly by the police. If you have had an accident without your helmet or need other pertinent information to ride legally, consulting with a professional Hidalgo County motorcycle lawyer will answer all your questions.

So, I May Not Have To; But Should I Wear a Helmet While Riding?

While Texas does have motorcycle helmet laws, you now see that there are exceptions. If you comply with the proper rules and regulations, you may not have to wear a helmet, but you should do it for safety.

However, this is, and probably should be, a highly personal decision, as long as you fully comply with the Texas state law requirements (as stated above).

However, if you’re in an accident, all current statistics show that helmets can significantly reduce your risk of death in a motorcycle crash by 37%. Possibly, even more frequently, wearing a helmet can reduce your risk of brain injury by 69%.

Almost universally, if you’re in a crash with a car, SUV, or truck, you can be severely injured. If you hit your head, receive a concussion, or worse, a TBI (traumatic brain injury), the effect could be life-changing.

So, although it’s up to you, in any motorcycle accident, wearing a helmet could definitely help keep you safe. Also, always consult a professional Edinburg motorcycle accident lawyer after a motorcycle accident to protect your rights.

What Are The Most Common Motorcycle Accidents in Texas?

Current Texas statistics show us that over 80% of motorcycle accidents result in you sustaining an injury. Also, most of these accidents involving other vehicles occur at intersections.

Additionally, all riders know these accidents usually occur because the driver does not see you or your motorcycle. Most motorcycle crashes (over two-thirds) do not involve other cars and are typically caused by excessive speeding.

Statistics also prove that about 40% of single-vehicle motorcycle fatalities, or accidents in which the motorcycle was the only vehicle involved, resulted in deaths at corners or while turning.
The five most common motorcycle injuries are:

  1.  Injuries to your legs – During motorcycle accidents, it is not uncommon to sustain injuries to your lower extremities, including your knees, calves, ankles, and feet.
  2.  Road Rash – Road rash is one of the significant injuries that come to mind when considering motorcycle accidents. These injuries occur when you slide across the pavement after being thrown off your motorcycle.
  3.  Injury to your arms – “Biker’s Arm” is a condition that happens when you are thrown off your bike immediately upon impact.
  4. Muscle damage – Muscle damage can occur anywhere on your body and can be permanent, leading to life-long paralysis.
  5. Head & neck injuries – Head and neck injuries such as concussions and skull fractures are the most common injuries motorcycle riders sustain.

Although some accidents are minor, most are serious and can be life-changing. By consulting with an Edinburg or McAllen motorcycle accident lawyer, you can be sure you get the help and funds you need for medical treatment, lost wages, etc., to recover and thrive.

If I Choose To Wear a Helmet; Must It Meet Certain Standards?

If you wear a helmet to protect against brain trauma, all helmets are not equal. No matter the style, a helmet that adequately protects you will meet specific federal requirements.  

If a helmet meets FMVSS #218, the manufacturer can print a DOT label on the outside rear of the helmet. Remember that these federal guidelines are the minimum safety standard.  If you wear a helmet for protection, look for one that meets higher safety standards and is approved by independent safety organizations like Snell or ANSI.

I’ve Had a Motorcycle Accident in Texas; What Should I Do?

If you don’t wear a helmet, or even if you do, motorcycle accidents in Texas can inflict severe physical injury and financial chaos on you and your family.

If you’ve been the victim of another’s negligence, you must consult a Hidalgo County motorcycle accident lawyer to obtain the compensation you deserve.

The Brasure Law Firm PLLC have been successfully helping motorcycle accident victims and their families in Edinburg and McAllen, Texas, for more than a decade. Call them today at (956) 903-2873 and get the help you must have for your recovery and future. 

By Brasure Law Firm, PLLC