Jason Stephens | July 7, 2023 | Motorcycle Accidents
Technically, motorcycle helmets are required by law in Texas. However, two major exceptions mean that a good majority of Texas bikers probably aren’t obligated to wear a helmet while riding a bike.
Before you leave your motorcycle helmet at home, you should make sure you’re legally exempt from these requirements. It’s also a good idea to weigh the costs and benefits of opting to ride without a helmet. After all, not having a helmet on during an accident can have a significant financial impact.
Texas Motorcycle Helmet Laws
It’s commonly thought that motorcycle helmets are required by Texas state law. Technically, this is true: helmets are legally required for motorcycle riders in the Lonestar State. However, you might not know that there are two exceptions.
Any Texas motorcycle driver over the age of 21 does not have to wear a helmet if they meet one of the following two criteria:
- They have completed a motorcycle safety course
- They have health insurance that can cover accident injuries
Texas law doesn’t provide considerable detail about their insurance requirements. Indeed, it fails to provide specific coverage amounts a rider needs to be excused from wearing a helmet. Simply offering proof of insurance, like a valid insurance card, is considered sufficient proof.
It’s important to note that these exceptions only apply to riders over the age of 21, as Texas allows individuals as young as 15 years old to ride a motorcycle. Younger riders are legally required to wear a motorcycle helmet at all times, regardless of whether they have health insurance or have completed a motorcycle safety training course.
Penalties for Not Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet in Texas
As previously mentioned, Texas laws explicitly require riders to wear a helmet unless they meet either of the two conditions that grant an exemption. However, enforcing this law is a bit more complicated than simply having police officers pull over those without helmets to check their status.
In fact, Texas police officers cannot pull a biker over for the sole purpose of checking whether they have procured health insurance or have completed a safety training course. This means that getting caught riding without a helmet when you shouldn’t is a fairly rare occurrence in Texas.
An officer can only pull a biker over for some other offense, like speeding. At that time, they can then request proof that an unhelmeted rider meets one of the two exemption criteria. If a biker is caught riding without a helmet illegally, they can face a ticket and fine of up to $50.
How a Helmet Can Impact Your Texas Motorcycle Accident Compensation
If you’re one of the many Texas bikers who can legally ride without a helmet, you might be tempted to leave the headgear at home. But before you do that, you should be aware of the possible consequences. Motorcycles offer little protection, especially when they’re involved in accidents with larger vehicles.
Thus, the injuries that motorcycle riders sustain are frequently serious, life-altering, and expensive. If another driver causes an accident and you’re injured, the other driver’s lawyer can claim that the extent of your injuries is partly your fault because you chose not to wear a helmet.
Unfortunately for bikers, this type of argument often holds up in court. And it significantly reduces the compensation that injured bikers and their families receive after a serious motorcycle crash.
Helmets Protect Your Head and Your Finances
No matter how skilled a biker you are, you can’t control what type of accident another car on the road might cause. Before you head out on a ride without your helmet, it pays to consider the long-term physical and financial consequences you can face when leaving your helmet at home.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Stephens Law to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth motorcycle accident lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 406
Fort Worth, TX 76107