The state of Texas requires motorcycle riders and passengers to wear helmets, with two major exceptions. Riders who are at least 21 years of age can complete a motorcycle safety course OR obtain health insurance that covers medical expenses resulting from a motorcycle accident. By meeting either one of these conditions, they are legally allowed to ride without a helmet. While this exemption permits many Texans to ride without a helmet, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.
Riding Without a Helmet Is Dangerous
Helmets are the most effective way to reduce serious injuries and deaths resulting from motorcycle crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), helmets saved an estimated 1,630 lives and $2.8 billion in economic costs in 2013. Helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69 percent, and the risk of death by 37 percent.
Riding Without a Helmet Can Cost You
Riding without a helmet isn’t just hazardous to your health, it also hurts your wallet. If you decide against wearing a helmet and you’re struck by a vehicle, failure to use a helmet could reduce, or even eliminate, your compensation. Whenever an injury occurs due to a vehicle accident, financial responsibility must be determined. In Texas, comparative fault rules are used to determine liability of the parties involved. Under comparative fault, the plaintiff’s ability to recover damages is reduced by his percentage of fault. If you suffer a head or brain injury in an accident caused by another motorist and you were not wearing a helmet, a judge or jury could decide that you contributed to your injuries by your choice. If they decide that not wearing a helmet contributed 51 percent or more to your injuries, you could be denied any compensation from the other driver, even though the crash was his fault.
You Need an Attorney
We recommend that all motorcycle riders wear a helmet, every time they ride. However, if you’re found to be partially at fault due to a failure to wear a helmet, you will need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to fight for the compensation you deserve. To learn more, contact the Cain Law Firm by using the form on this page.