Texas Motorcycle Helmet Law: Importance, Exceptions, and Enforcement
Riding a motorcycle is a popular hobby and mode of transportation in Texas. However, it is essential for motorcycle riders to be aware of the Texas motorcycle helmet law before taking their bikes out on the roads and highways.
It’s impossible to answer every question regarding motorcycle helmet laws in a single article. For this reason, we encourage you to contact Allbee Law Firm at (817) 244-6453 if you have any questions about Texas motorcycle helmet laws that aren’t addressed below.
Overview of The Texas Motorcycle Helmet Law
The Texas Motorcycle Helmet Law has a long history. A universal helmet law was first enacted in 1968 and has been amended several times since then. Currently, the law requires all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear a helmet that meets specific safety standards.
Motorcycle helmet laws also specify that the helmet must be securely fastened with a chin strap, and that riders must wear eye protection unless their motorcycle is equipped with a windshield.
In Texas, all riders and passengers under 21 must wear a helmet. However, riders who are 21 or older and have completed a motorcycle safety course or have medical insurance coverage that covers motorcycle injuries may ride without a helmet.
Helmets Must Be DOT Approved
The Texas Department of Public Safety (TX DPS) approves only helmets that meet the safety standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). It is essential to ensure that your helmet is “DOT approved ” before riding a motorcycle in Texas.
Benefits of Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle riders are 27 times more likely to die in a crash than car occupants, and the risk of head injury is significantly higher for riders who do not wear a helmet.
Wearing a helmet can significantly reduce the risk of head and brain injuries in a crash. Helmets are designed to absorb the impact of a collision and protect the rider’s head and brain. They can also protect against facial and eye injuries from flying debris.
Not wearing a helmet can have severe consequences. Riders who do not wear a helmet are at a much higher risk of suffering a severe head or brain injury in the event of a crash. This can result in long-term disability, cognitive impairment, or even death.
In addition to protecting the rider, wearing a helmet can provide a sense of confidence and security while riding. It allows riders to focus on the road and enjoy the ride without worrying about potential injuries.
Exceptions To The Texas Motorcycle Helmet Law
There are a few situations where wearing a helmet is not required in Texas. Riders who are 21 years of age or older and have completed an approved motorcycle operator training safety course, or have a health insurance plan that covers injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident, are allowed to ride without a helmet. However, it is essential to note that even if a motorcycle rider is exempt from wearing a helmet, it is still highly recommended for safety reasons.
If a motorcycle rider is caught riding without a helmet in Texas, they can face significant penalties. The first offense can result in a fine of up to $250, and subsequent violations can result in higher fines and even suspension of the rider’s license. More importantly, not wearing a helmet can have severe consequences in an accident, such as traumatic brain injuries or even death.
It is always recommended that riders wear a helmet to protect themselves and to ensure compliance with Texas law.
Do You Have Questions About A Motorcycle Accident?
Texas Motorcycle Helmet Law FAQs
What is the minimum age to ride a motorcycle in Texas?
There is no minimum age to ride on a motorcycle in Texas, but Texas law requires certain conditions to be met.
- Riders under the age of 21 must wear a helmet.
- A rider must be at least five years old to ride behind the person driving the motorcycle.
- A motorcycle passenger under five cannot ride behind the driver, but the passenger can ride in an attached sidecar.
What types of motorcycle helmets are approved under Texas law?
Motorcycle helmets must be “DOT approved,” which means the Department of Transportation approves them. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard #218 explains what standards a motorcycle helmet must meet to be legally used on Texas roads and highways.
Can I ride without a helmet if I have medical insurance that covers injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident?
Yes, motorcycle riders who are 21 years of age or older and have health insurance coverage that covers injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash are exempt from wearing a helmet in Texas.
Can I be pulled over just for not wearing a helmet?
Yes, a Texas police officer can pull over motorcycle riders who are not wearing a helmet. However, police officers cannot pull you over to confirm if you’ve successfully completed a motorcycle operator course.
What are the consequences of not wearing a helmet in Texas?
The consequences of not wearing a helmet in Texas can include fines, court fees, and the potential suspension of the motorcycle rider’s license.
Motorcycle operators may also face increased liability in the event of an accident.
How can a personal injury attorney help me if I have been injured in a motorcycle accident?
A motorcycle accident lawyer can help injured riders recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
We can also help hold negligent parties accountable for their actions and help you navigate the legal system.
How does not wearing a helmet impact my personal injury case?
Not wearing a helmet can impact your personal injury case in Texas through the doctrine of contributory negligence. This legal principle holds that if a rider’s failure to wear a helmet contributed to their injuries, they might be found partially at fault for their injuries. This can potentially reduce the compensation they can recover in a personal injury lawsuit.
In Texas, if a motorcycle operator is found to be more than 50% at fault for their injuries, they may not be able to recover any compensation. Therefore, it is vital to wear a helmet while riding to protect yourself and avoid potential legal complications in the event of an accident.
What is the helmet exemption in Texas?
The helmet exemption in Texas allows riders who are 21 years of age or older and have completed a motorcycle operator training safety course or have health insurance that covers injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident to ride without a helmet.
Do children have to wear a helmet on a motorcycle in Texas?
Yes, all motorcycle riders and passengers under the age of 21 must wear a helmet in Texas.
What does a motorcycle need to be legal in Texas?
To be legal in Texas, a motorcycle must be registered with the state, have a valid license plate, and meet specific safety requirements such as functional brakes, lights, and mirrors.
Is Texas a mandatory helmet state?
Yes, Texas is a mandatory helmet state. All motorcycle riders and passengers must wear a helmet unless they meet specific exemption criteria.
Can you get a ticket for not wearing a helmet on a motorcycle in Texas?
Yes, riders who are caught not wearing a helmet in Texas can be ticketed and fined. Repeated offenses can result in higher fines and even suspension of the rider’s license.
Enforcing Texas Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Law enforcement agencies in Texas are responsible for enforcing the motorcycle helmet law. Police officers may stop riders who are not wearing a helmet and may issue citations for non-compliance.
Additionally, riders who are involved in an accident and are not wearing a helmet may face increased liability, as their failure to comply with the law may be used against them in court.
The penalties for not wearing a helmet in Texas include fines, court fees, and the potential suspension of the rider’s license. The consequences can be even more severe if the rider is involved in an accident and sustains injuries due to not wearing a helmet. In such cases, the rider may be held liable for their own injuries, medical expenses, and any damages or injuries sustained by others in the accident.
Can A Personal Injury Lawyer Still Help If I wasn't Wearing A Motorcycle Helmet?
Motorcycle accident lawyers play an essential role in motorcycle accident cases, especially injuries sustained by riders not wearing helmets. Attorneys can help injured riders navigate the legal system, negotiate with insurance companies, and hold negligent parties accountable for their actions. They can also help injured riders recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Texas, it is essential to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.
Free Consultation With A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
At Allbee Law Firm, we are committed to helping personal injury victims, including those injured in motorcycle accidents. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in the Dallas Fort Worth area or elsewhere in Texas, our experienced Fort Worth motorcycle accident attorneys can help you navigate the legal system and recover the compensation you deserve.
Contact us by calling (817) 244-6453 or fill out the contact form on this page. Consultations for motorcycle accident victims are 100% free.