Snellings Law PLLC Attorneys are Personal Injury Trial Lawyers
Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Helmets and the law:
Things You Need To Know
As a guy, I have had both longer hair (which my mom hated) and shorter hair. It is always a cool feeling when you walk out of the barber shop after having your hair chopped off and feeling the wind hit your scalp. Many of my motorcycle-riding friends explain the same feeling when riding their bikes. They feel like wearing a helmet is restricting and cuts into their ability to enjoy riding. All of them will acknowledge the increased risk of not wearing a helmet if they are involved in a crash; however, they readily accept those risks to be able to do what they love.
In some states, motorcycle riders do not get this choice as helmets are required for motorcycle riders just like seatbelts are required for vehicle occupants. The specific rules vary from place to place; 19 states have universal helmet laws, meaning all operators of motorcycles are required to wear helmets at all times. Another 28 require some riders to wear helmets, usually divided by age. Only three states (Iowa, Illinois, New Hampshire) have no helmet laws at all.
The Law in Texas
All riders under the age of 21 are required to wear a helmet while operating a motorcycle. Riders age 21 and over can make the choice for themselves as long as they meet either of the following two requirements:
• They have taken a certified safety course; or
• They have an insurance policy in place that sufficiently covers motorcycle crashes.
You do not have to wear a helmet as long as you are over 21 and have taken a saftey course, which is generally required to get a motorcycle license. In Texas, illegally riding without a helmet is a secondary offense, meaning that police officers are not allowed to pull a helmet-less rider over simply to check that they meet these requirements.
There is currently no state-wide law requiring helmet use when operating a bicycle, although certain cities have implemented municipal helmet bylaws.
Regardless of where each person stands on the issue, there is no doubt that helmets reduce injuries and save lives. Studies show that helmet use reduces the risk of head injury by 69% and death by 39%. Whose choice wearing a helmet should be is up for debate, but it is necessary to fully understand the rules before making such an important decision.
In the case of a crash involving either a motorcycle or bicycle, the considerations as to fault and liability can be extremely complex and should be handled by an attorney who can comprehend the entire picture and determine the best course of action for each individual.
At Snellings Law, we have handled many cases stemming from motorcycle and bicycle crashes. It is crucial to have someone in your corner who understands your legal position and can help you obtain the best result possible no matter the specific circumstances. If you or a loved one has been injured on a motorcycle or bicycle, call Snellings Law now to set up your free consultation at 214.387.0387.