Although safety studies clearly indicate that wearing a helmet can save your life if you are involved in a motorcycle accident, many riders still choose not to wear one unless required to do so by law.
Unfortunately, attorneys who handle motorcycle accident cases in Texas find this to be the case ever since Texas relaxed their helmet laws for anyone 21 years of age and over.
Yet if you are under 21, motorcycle accident lawyers point out that Texas motorcycle laws require that you wear a helmet.
Motorcycle Helmet Laws In Texas
Lawyers in Texas know that helmet laws have been a controversial topic in the state for a long time.
Safety advocates still recommend helmet use at all times for all riders; however, motorcycle accident attorneys know that many helmet laws such as those in Texas are more lenient.
According to Texas helmet laws, anyone may ride a motorcycle in traffic without a helmet if they:
- Are 21 years of age or older
- Are covered by an active health insurance plan
- Pass a motorcycle training and safety course
Those who do not meet all three of these requirements must wear a helmet while riding.
Safety Data Shows That Helmets Save Lives
A recent data sheet published by the NHTSA shows that in 2016, there were 5,286 fatalities and close to 100,000 injuries among those riding motorcycles in traffic.1
Based on the types of injuries sustained as well as other crash data, it is estimated that 1,859 lives were saved because the rider was wearing a helmet during their motorcycle accident.
The report shows that helmet use is 37% effective for drivers and 41% effective for passengers in preventing motorcycle fatalities nationwide.1
According to Texas motorcycle accident attorneys, the report also states that in 2016, 54% of all motorcycle fatalities were unhelmeted while only 43% were helmeted.1
Both statewide and nationally, there is significant indication that helmets do reduce fatalities. It is estimated that another 802 lives could have been saved had helmets been worn.
Helmets A Critical Safety Measure For Under 21 Riders
The 2016 TxDOT report on motorcycle accident fatalities and helmet usage indicates a direct correlation between helmet use in riders under the age of 21 and reduced fatalities.2
Based on this collected data, motorcycle accident lawyers observe that only 29% of riders 14 and under were either injured or killed when wearing helmets as opposed to 55% of those 21 and over.2
Motorcycle accident attorneys observe that while most injuries and fatalities to those 17 and under occurred off-road, the fact still remains that helmets have been proven to save lives and not enough minors wear them while riding motorcycles and ATV's.
Final Thoughts About Helmet Safety
Helmets are statistically proven to save lives in a motorcycle accident.
Even though Texas law allows riders who meet certain requirements the freedom to choose, the best idea is to always wear a helmet.
The law also states that any rider under the age of 21 must wear a helmet; however, compliance may be lower than average concerning riders 14 years and under.
Motorcycle accident lawyers agree that there is no good reason to avoid what the law clearly states and put youthful riders at considerable risk for serious injuries or even death from a motorcycle accident!
Hildebrand & Wilson, Attorneys at Law
7930 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
1National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,Traffic Safety Facts: Motorcycles, February 2018
2Texas Department of Transportation Motorcyclist Fatalities and Injuries - 2016