Texas Motorcycle Helmet Laws and Safety
We know that not all bikers are in favor of wearing helmets. And in Texas, assuming they meet all the necessary legal requirements outlined below, they don’t have to.
While we are in favor of everyone exercising their right to make their own decision regarding helmet use, it is important for riders to know the risks associated with not wearing a helmet.
- A Centers for Disease Control study states helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69%.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates over the last 15 years, more than 25,000 lives have been saved by wearing motorcycle helmets.
- According to the National Safety Council Injury Facts, motorcycle helmets are estimated to be 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcyclists and 41% effective for motorcycle passengers.
Deciding whether to wear a motorcycle helmet may be a personal choice, but there are still laws riders and passengers must abide by, no matter their decision.
Here is what all Texas motorcyclists and their passengers need to know.
What are the Texas Motorcycle Helmet Laws?
According to the Texas Motorcycle Operator Program, helmets meeting Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard #218 (FMVSS-218) are required for motorcycle operators and passengers in Texas.
This requirement applies to all motorcycles and mopeds regardless of size or number of wheels.
However, persons 21 years of age or older are exempt from wearing a helmet if they have completed a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) approved motorcycle operator training course or are covered with medical insurance. Proof of medical insurance must be a card or certificate that contains the name of the insurer, the insurance policy number, and the policy period.
Find a TDLR-approved motorcycle operating training course near you.
Motorcycle Helmets and Additional Safety Gear Can Help Save Lives
Studies indicate that in crashes, motorcycle riders and passengers are more likely to be seriously injured or killed than automobile operators or passengers.
Your chance of reaching your destination safely is directly related to the preparation you do before the ride.
That includes minimizing your risk of injury by wearing motorcycle safety gear, like:
- Head Protection
First and foremost, an FMVSS-218 helmet protects riders and passengers against head injuries, which account for most motorcycle accident fatalities across the country. Without a helmet, you are five times more likely to sustain a critical head injury in a crash. In addition, helmets can protect riders and passengers from windblast, cold, sunburn, flying objects, and hearing loss.
Helmets should fit snugly, be securely fastened, and be free of defects, like cracks, loose padding, frayed straps, or exposed metal.
- Eye Protection
Eyeglasses or sunglasses with shatterproof lenses can help protect the eyes while riding, but goggles provide full wind protection to eliminate watering eyes that can interfere with your vision. Motorcycle eye protection should be shatterproof, optically clear, securely fastened, and not blog your peripheral vision.
- Protective Clothing
The clothes you wear when riding a motorcycle should protect you from sunburn, windburn, rain, dehydration, cold, and parts of the motorcycle that can cause injuries or burns, while also providing visibility and comfort. In addition, quality riding clothes may prevent or reduce the severity of cuts, abrasions, and bodily injury during a crash.
Have You Been Injured in a Texas Motorcycle Accident Caused by a Negligent Driver?
Call our skilled motorcycle accident attorneys in Austin, Texas at (512) 699-1382 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. We pursue dedicated, driven results for our clients, and there is never a charge to talk to our personal injury attorney in Austin. We stand ready to help you.