Motorcyclists in Texas should always wear a helmet for the sake of their own safety. Considering the many inattentive drivers on the road — who could be drunk or distracted by their cellphones — motorcyclists need to take every safety precaution they can to avoid accidents and injuries.
By far, one of the best things you can do in terms of safety as a Texas biker is to wear a helmet. However, interestingly enough, the law might not require you to protect your head in this regard.
Texas motorcycle helmet laws
In the state of Texas, many motorcyclists can qualify for the motorcycle helmet exemption. To qualify motorcyclists must:
- Be at least 21 years of age and able to provide proof of completing a Motorcycle Safety Foundation motorcycle safety course; or
- Provide proof of health insurance coverage for medical care relating to injuries that happen in a motorcycle accident.
Aside from a helmet, the state does not require any other special safety equipment. For example, motorcyclists do not need to wear reflective vests, footwear, gloves, jackets or eye protection.
Will helmet use affect my potential personal injury claim
Individuals who are not exempt from wearing a motorcycle helmet could find themselves facing challenges if they get into an accident that wasn’t their fault. Let’s say that a vehicle driver strikes you while you’re not using a helmet, even though you were supposed to be wearing one. The force of the collision ejects you from your bike and you suffer serious head injuries.
If you were legally required to wear a helmet, a civil court might deem you partially responsible for your head injuries, even if the accident was not your fault. Conversely, if you were exempt from wearing a helmet, your lack of head protection should not adversely hurt your damage claim.
Other ways helmet use affects your personal injury claim
The most important reason to wear a helmet is the fact that it could prevent you from suffering a serious injury in the first place. Indeed, it’s much better to avoid getting hurt in a motorcyle accident — and not have a personal injury claim to pursue — than to suffer a serious injury that results in long-term pain and suffering.