Texas Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Motorcycling is an incredibly liberating and exciting experience, but one that requires caution. Though the majority of motorcycle rides are accident-free, unfortunately, accidents can still occur which may lead to serious injuries or fatalities. Helmets provide bikers with the best chance of mitigating brain trauma in the event of a crash yet. So, do you need to wear a helmet to ride a motorcycle in Texas?
Understanding Motorcycle Helmet Laws In Texas
In Texas, the possibility of an offense for not wearing protective headgear exists. Individuals below a certain age must obtain health insurance in order to steer clear of being ticketed. Police officers cannot stop or pull over motorcyclists solely to check if they have proper coverage. In Texas, motorcyclists wanting to hit the highway without a helmet are required to meet specific conditions concerning age and insurance before considering foregoing protection on their heads.
- Must be 21 years of age or older.
- Must be covered by an applicable health insurance plan.
- Must have completed a motorcycle operator training and safety course.
Before September 1, 2009, Texas motorcyclists had to possess health insurance with a minimum of $10,000 if they wanted to be exempt from the offense of riding or operating without a helmet. However, on this date, these regulations were abolished and the motorcycle helmet exemption sticker program was terminated. The goal of these motorcycle helmet laws in Texas is to protect the rider. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, a helmet may just be the thing that saves your life.
The Importance Of Motorcycle Helmets
Startling statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation expose that in a single year, 482 motorcyclists tragically lost their lives while 1856 suffered suspected serious injuries and 2687 experienced non-incapacitating harm. Furthermore, 1704 individuals may have sustained some type of injury as well.
Motorcyclists are particularly susceptible to severe trauma if they get into an accident, but there is a way to protect yourself from fatalities and traumatic brain injuries: wearing a helmet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “A universal helmet law is the single most effective method that states have in order both save lives, as well as money.”
The CDC has reported that, during the last reporting year alone, motorcycle helmets were responsible for saving nearly 2,000 lives. Furthermore, if ALL motorcyclists had worn a helmet this number could have been even higher! In fact, research indicates that wearing a motorcycle helmet reduces one’s risk of death by 37% and their risk of sustaining a head injury by an astonishing 69%. The importance of donning protective gear while riding is undeniable.
It is essential for all motorcyclists to invest in and use only US DOT-approved motorcycle helmets. It’s so easy nowadays to come across knockoff helmets, particularly on online marketplaces like eBay or Amazon. To avoid a potentially hazardous encounter with one of these counterfeits, we strongly recommend you buy your helmet from a reputable brick-and-mortar or online motorcycle supply retailer instead. Motorcycle accidents can be devastating – that’s why our experienced personal injury attorney offers free consultations for victims and their loved ones who have been injured due to an accident.
Department Of Transportation Approved Helmets
To ensure you remain safe while riding, it is vital to wear a Department of Transportation (DOT) certified motorcycle helmet. All helmets available for sale in the United States need to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218, with an exception being novelty items such as collector’s pieces that do not require DOT approval.
To ensure maximum protection, always check to make sure your safety helmet meets the DOT requirements. It should have a clearly labeled sticker or label from the Department of Transportation on either its packaging or directly on the helmet itself. Additionally, be wary of dealers who may mislabel helmets in order to deceive customers into purchasing them. To avoid being taken advantage of, inspect inside for labels from private organizations such as Snell and ANSI which are reliable indicators that it does meet DOT regulations.
Make sure to inspect the helmet’s construction. A DOT-approved helmet will be heavier, typically around 3 pounds or more; anything lighter could mean it is counterfeit. Additionally, nothing must protrude further than 0.2 inches off of the helmet – this means that helmets adorned with spikes or any similar accessories are not likely DOT certified. Most importantly, if you’re aware your motorcycle’s headgear does not meet safety criteria outlined by the Department of Transportation (DOT), avoid using it while riding on your motorbike – a small decision which can make an immense impact in protecting yourself and others.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Get Pulled Over for Not Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet in Texas?
Surprisingly, Texas police officers are forbidden to pull motorcyclists over solely for not wearing a helmet. Nevertheless, multiple bills have been put forth in the Texas Legislature that would close this loophole and permit law enforcement personnel to enforce motorcycle helmet regulations. If passed into law, these proposed statutes will allow cops to flag down anyone under 21 or those who don’t meet an exemption for not having their helmets on and issue them citations accordingly. While no such action has yet reached the governor’s signature desk as of now, it may be only a matter of time until one does.
What Are The Laws For Kids On Motorcycles In Texas?
Before you consider taking a stroll with your toddler, there is one thing that must be taken into account. Children below the age of five are prohibited from riding on a motorcycle in most states. However, an exception to this rule exists: Kids under five may ride in sidecars affixed to motorcycles instead. Furthermore, as dictated by Malorie’s Law in Texas, every motorbike carrying more than one rider has to include handholds or bars for passengers at the back so they can hold onto something while traveling.
Contact Our San Antonio Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
While a helmet can help protect your head from harm, motorcycle crashes expose more of the body to injury. Even if you follow all safety precautions, another’s negligence may still lead to severe injuries on your part. If you have experienced an accident-related trauma in any form, get in touch with the Law Offices of J. Robert Davis today for a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.