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Understanding Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Texas

Understanding Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Texas

There are so many perks to riding a motorcycle—obviously—as over 400,000 of them are registered to enthusiasts and commuters in Texas. Along with the fresh air, motorcyclists enjoy a camaraderie with other likeminded souls, all engaged in the perception of freedom that traveling on two wheels offers. But safety must come first, and while defensive driving is a priority, protective gear must be also. This means wearing durable and reinforced clothing such as pants and a good jacket. Sturdy riding boots are in order, along with gloves to protect the hands and fingers. 

The helmet, ever controversial within the US when it comes to motorcycle laws, is required for anyone under the age of 21 who is riding a motorcycle. Individuals over 21 can forgo the helmet, but must have completed an accredited safety course or have insurance as stated by the Texas Department of Public Safety:

“Former law required a person be covered with a minimum of $10,000 in health insurance for injuries incurred in a motorcycle accident to be eligible for an exception for the offense of operating or riding a motorcycle without a helmet. The law removes that minimum amount. The law requires the Texas Department of Insurance to prescribe a standard proof of health insurance for issuance to persons who are at least 21 years of age and covered by an applicable health insurance plan. ‘Health insurance plan’ means an individual, group, blanket, or franchise insurance policy, insurance agreement, evidence of coverage, group hospital services contract, health maintenance organization membership, or employee benefit plan that provides benefits for health care services or for medical or surgical expenses incurred as a result of an accident. Read Texas Administrative Code §21.5201 (c)(1)(2) for details on requirements for health insurance plan providers; basically, they must either add the words "Motorcycle Health" to the insurance card or supply a letter with the same basic information as the card to include the words ‘Motorcycle Health: Standard Proof of Health Insurance.’

Although you may enjoy the freedom of riding without a helmet, consider the serious consequences of having an accident and suffering a terrible concussion or a traumatic brain injury. The TBI is especially serious as it can lead to long-term issues like memory loss, ongoing pain, brain damage, and more. Road rash, contusions, and facial fractures may occur if you are in a crash without a helmet also.

If you have been injured in an accident due to the negligence of others, this is not the time to go it alone! Please call the law offices of Andrew ‘Pike’ Piekalkiewicz, PLLC as soon as possible at (713) 748-7453 for a no obligation case review.