Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Texas

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Texas motorcycle helmet laws require operators and passengers riding on a motor scooter, moped, or motorcycle to wear helmets. This is aimed at preventing catastrophic injuries to the head.

The helmets worn on the bikes should meet minimum standards set under FMVSS 218. An exception applies to individuals over the age of twenty-one who hold at least $10,000 in medical insurance coverage. In addition, the exemption is applicable to operators who have completed a motorcycle operator training course. The course should be approved by the Department of Transportation.

On the other hand, law enforcement officers are not allowed to stop or detain motorcycle operators with the sole aim of establishing whether they are covered by insurance or have completed the mandatory safety course.

Wearing a helmet has been shown to lower the risk of suffering brain injury or death in the event of a motorcycle accident. The same applies to reducing the risk of suffering a cervical spine injury. Researchers from Johns Hopkins published these findings. This means that motorcyclists are much safer wearing a helmet even if they qualify for an exemption from wearing one.

According to Section 661.003 of the law governing protective headgear for bikes, a person is deemed to have violated the law when operating a bike or riding as a passenger without a helmet. The requirement applies when riding on a public street or highway. An operator commits an offense by allowing a passenger to ride without protective headgear.

Road Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends the use of helmets with a thick inner liner that meets minimum safety standards set by federal requirements. An ideal inner liner is made of polystyrene foam and is at least one inch thick. Protective gear with soft or no padding should be considered unsafe for use on a motorcycle. A reliable unit features solid rivets and sturdy chain straps, which are designed to keep the headgear firmly in place at all times.

Federal safety standards stipulate that the ideal weight of a motorcycle helmet is approximately three pounds. Lighter units do not provide adequate protection. Helmets that meet minimum federal safety standards outlined in FMVSS 218 come with a DOT sticker. Additionally, helmets may be certified by private entities, such as Snell or American National Standards Institute. In such cases, they display stickers with the logo of the relevant body.

Manufacturers of motorcycle helmets are also required to place labels indicating the model, manufacturer’s name, construction materials, size, and other critical details. Any unit without a label should be regarded as unsafe for use on public roads. In the event that a helmet fails, you’ll want to contact an experienced Texas injury law firm.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws Nationwide

Laws governing the use of protective headgear on motorcycles vary by state. Some jurisdictions adopt the universal helmet laws, which stipulate that all persons riding on a motorcycle should wear headgear. A number of states, including Texas, use the partial helmet laws, which exempt some operators from using helmets. Meanwhile, motorcyclists living in states with no laws governing helmets can exercise discretion when it comes to protective headgear, regardless of age.

References:

https://www.dps.texas.gov/msb/helmet.htm

 

https://www.dps.texas.gov/msb/RCDocs/courseWrapUpHandout.pdf