Texas Helmet Laws
Texas Helmet Law
Wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle can help protect you from devastating injuries and even death. Helmets protect your head from serious injuries that can drastically change your qualify of life. If you are over 20 years of age, are a trained motorcycle operator, and have at least $10,000 in medical insurance coverage, you don’t have to wear a helmet in Texas. In other words, you cannot be charged with an offense if you meet all these requirements.
Changes To Texas Helmet Laws
The new House Bill 748 that sponsored by Representatives Victoria Neave and Ana-Maria Ramos from Dallas area, could lead to changes to motorcycle helmet laws. The bill aims to allow police officers to pull over motorcycle riders that do not wear helmets to make sure they comply with legal conditions of helmet riding. Currently, no police officer may stop a rider without a helmet just to check if the rider meets the requirements in the law. Obviously the new bill is not supported by a significant number of people that enjoy riding motorcycles. Quite a number of them are already expressing their disapproval to the bill by calling the representatives that are sponsoring it.
Why The New Bill Is Unpopular
The people opposing the bill argue that allowing police officers to stop motorcyclists just to ensure they meet helmet law requirements is government overreach. Even if the proposed changes become law, helmeted riders may still be stopped to prove they have health insurance coverage and required training. They simply don’t want to have to deal with frequent annoying traffic stops. Some argue that the only way such inconveniences can be dealt with is to mandate all riders to wear helmets. This will give officers a clear and better reason to stop riders that do not wear helmets.
Despite opposition to the new bill, it is highly recommended to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle for protection. Helmets are 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries, and motorcyclists that do not wear helmets are 3 times more likely to suffer brain injuries compared to helmeted riders, according to a study by Crash Outcome Data Evaluation System (CODES). For riders that are under 21 years of age, wearing a helmet is a requirement even for those that ride low power motorcycles. If you ride motor assisted scooters with engines displacements below 40cc, you do not have to wear helmets irrespective of your age.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle riders are prone to serious injuries in accidents compared to drivers because their protection is limited. They do not have a metal shell that can absorb most of the impact in an accident like car or truck drivers. Common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Broken bones or fractures: Bones often break in serious car crushes. People also suffer fractures on the bones in the arms, legs or spine. These types of injuries are and painful and costly.
- Head injuries and TBIs: These are the most common motorcycle accident injuries. They include skull fractures, brain damage, concussions and other debilitating and fatal injuries.
- Friction burns: These burns lead to skin damage and may lead to infections or nerve damage.
- Neck and spine injuries: They include slipped discs and vertebrae fractures, which can result in paralysis, and debilitating pain.