Brian White | June 15, 2023 | Motorcycle Accidents
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), motor vehicle crashes claimed the lives of 562 motorcycle riders in 2022. This figure marked an 8% increase over the previous year.
Motorcyclists can be vulnerable on Texas roadways and throughout the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), helmets saved an estimated 1,872 lives of motorcyclists in 2017. If all motorcycle riders had worn helmets, 749 fewer people would have died.
The United States loses $1.5 billion in economic costs associated with motorcyclists not wearing helmets.
Helmets are 37 percent effective for riders. They are 41 percent effective for passengers. Motorcycle helmets also lower the risk of head injury by 69%.
Despite the benefits of wearing a helmet, Texas law does not require all motorcyclists to wear head protection when they take to the roads. Texas helmet law only requires certain individuals to wear a helmet. TX helmet law also limits police officers’ authority to stop motorcyclists not wearing helmets.
Motorcycle Helmet Requirements Under Texas Law
You only have to wear a helmet on a motorcycle in Texas under certain circumstances. When you are required to wear a helmet, it must meet the department’s safety standards.
Age and Training
Texas motorcycle riders must be 21 years old to operate a bike without a helmet.
In addition to meeting the age requirement, there is another rule. They must have successfully completed a motorcycle operator training and safety course. Or, they must have health insurance coverage providing the person with medical benefits for injuries incurred due to an accident while operating or riding a motorcycle.
Passengers have the same helmet requirements as riders do in Texas. If the passenger is 21 years of age or older and can satisfy one of the two stipulations described above, they are not legally mandated to wear a helmet.
Stops by the Police
Texas motorcycle helmet law restricts who can ride without a helmet. However, there is a further limitation that makes the law difficult to enforce.
The rule states that a police officer may not stop or detain a driver or passenger for the sole purpose of ascertaining the following:
- Whether the person has successfully completed the motorcycle operator training and safety course
- Or whether a health insurance plan covers the person.
It is unlawful for the police to stop you to determine whether you have adequate training or insurance. However, the police could stop you if they suspect you are under 21.
In some cases, the police may pull you over for another reason, such as speeding. If this happens, they could ask you about not wearing a helmet. You might have to present evidence of your successful completion of motorcycle operator training or health insurance.
If you are 21 and can show that you have appropriate training or insurance, the police cannot arrest you or issue you a citation for your lack of wearing a helmet.
It is advisable to wear a helmet for your safety. However, Texas law protects your right to make your own decision under certain circumstances.
Contact a Houston Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident in the Houston area, an experienced attorney can help you hold the at-fault party accountable. Even if you weren’t wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, you may still have a valid claim for compensation. Most motorcycle accident lawyers offer free initial consultations as well, so you can receive preliminary legal help at no cost to you.
Contact the Houston Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers
3120 Southwest Freeway, Suite 350
Houston, TX 77098
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – East Fwy
11811 East Fwy, Suite 630-06
Houston, TX 77029
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – South Loop
2600 S Loop W, Suite 293
Houston, TX 77054