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Are Motorcyclists Required to Wear Helmets in Texas?

Posted On October 26, 2020 In Uncategorized

There are plenty of motorcyclists who live in Texas or visit this state on a regular basis. However, motorcyclists are incredibly vulnerable when it comes to motorcycle accidents involving other passenger vehicles. While it is generally understood that helmets save lives in the event a motorcyclist is involved in a crash, motorcycle helmet laws are not mandatory in every state throughout the country. The Texas law requires that any motorcyclist under the age of 21 wear a helmet. However, those 21 years of age or older are not required to wear a helmet if they:

  • Have successfully completed a motorcycle operator safety and training course, OR
  • They are covered by a health insurance policy that provides for medical benefits for injuries if they are involved in a motorcycle accident while riding or operating a motorcycle.

What Are the Benefits of Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet?

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motorcycle helmets save nearly 2,000 lives each year. The CDC estimates that if all motorcyclists wore helmets, more than 800 lives could have been saved during a recent reporting year. Further, the CDC says that helmets reduce the risk of motorcyclist fatalities by 37%, and they reduce the risk of a head injury by 69%. Additionally, a motorcycle helmet is not only beneficial in the event a collision occurs, but a helmet can also help deflect roadway debris and other objects from striking a person in the head, face, or neck. Loose debris on the roadway is often sent flying in the direction of a motorcyclist by the wheels of other vehicles. As many motorcyclists in Texas are aware, there are very large insects in this state. When a motorcyclist is operating at a higher rate of speed, an impact from a large insect can have several negative consequences. The severity of impacts with roadway debris or insects can be lessened by wearing a helmet.

What Are Possible Injuries From Not Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet?

When we turn to data provided by the Texas Department of Transportation, we can see that there were 410 motorcyclist fatalities during the latest reporting year across the state. The DOT says that 45% of motorcyclists killed were not wearing a helmet at the time of the collision. However, many motorcyclists involved in accidents were not killed. Unfortunately, those who do not wear a helmet are much more likely to sustain significant injuries in the event a collision occurs. This includes serious open head wounds as well as severe traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injury survivors often face significant long-term disabilities caused by the personal injury, including complete or partial paralysis, decreased cognitive function, an inability to control emotions, and more. The most common excuses that motorcyclists claim for lack of helmet use are that helmets impair their vision and/or are not comfortable. When it comes to protecting yourself and ensuring that you get back to your loved ones each day, the benefits of wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle far outweigh any negatives.

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