What are Texas’ Motorcycle Helmet Laws
If you are riding a motorcycle in Texas, you need to be aware of the current helmet laws. The law requires anyone riding or operating a motorcycle to wear a helmet that meets the Federal Motor Safety Standard #218. But, if you want to ride without a helmet, the law does offer exceptions for those who are 21 and older. If you are going to ride a motorcycle without a helmet, you must have at least $10,000 worth of health insurance coverage to take care of any medical expenses that might be associated with injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash and you must have taken an approved motorcycle operator safety and training course.
Proof of Insurance Requirement
The Texas Department of Insurance is required to prescribe a standard proof of health insurance that can be issued to individuals ages 21 and older who are covered by a health insurance plan. The bill, which went into effect in September 2009, prohibits law enforcement from stopping or detaining a person on a motorcycle simply for the purpose of determining if they have completed a motorcycle operator training and safety course or if they are covered by a satisfactory motorcycle health insurance plan. Anyone younger than 21 must wear a helmet, and children younger than 5 are prohibited from riding a motorcycle in the state, but children 5 and younger can ride in a motorcycle sidecar.
The Facts About Helmet Use
While the state laws allow exceptions to wearing helmets when riding a bike in Texas, studies have shown that wearing a helmet while on a motorcycle can reduce the severity of your injuries or save your life in the event of a crash. Those who are in a crash while wearing a helmet are much less likely to suffer a brain injury or death if they are in an accident. Research from Johns Hopkins University has determined that a helmet can also reduce the risk of suffering cervical spine injury if you are involved in a crash. Texas law requires motorcycles that are carrying more than one person to have bars, handholds, or something for the passenger in the back to hold on while the bike is in motion, which will help keep them from tumbling off the back of the bike.
What Happens When You Ride Without A Helmet
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that during 2015, there were 443 fatalities in motorcycle crashes in Texas. About 52% of those crashes–231 people–involved bikers who weren’t wearing a helmet. That same year, the NHTSA estimated that helmet usage saved 1,772 lives across the United States, including 122 motorcyclists in Texas. According to the NHTSA, if more people had worn helmets, more lives would have been saved. The report also indicates that helmet use can save billions of dollars in medical costs, property damage, lost productivity, and the loss of quality of life across the country on an annual basis. Motorcyclists should review all the research and the statistics before they decide whether or not to ride without a helmet.
While wearing a helmet is almost always a good idea, wearing one or not doesn’t change the likelihood that you may be involved in a motorcycle accident. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident in the state of Texas, now is the time to reach out to an experienced motorcycle attorney like Fears Nachawati in order to discuss the details of your case and what legal options may be available to you.
We know that choosing an attorney is a stressful decision to make, especially after the trauma following a motorcycle accident, but our team wants to make the process as stress free and easy as possible, so we are standing by and ready to help. For your free, no-obligation legal consultation, and to learn more about your rights and what to expect following your motorcycle accident, give the team at Fears Nachawati a call at (866) 705-7584 or visit one of our offices located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Austin.