Motorcycle enthusiasts often enjoy the freedom of riding without a helmet. Some might find that helmets prevent them from enjoying the experience of feeling the wind on their face.

While motorcycle helmets are mandatory for some people, not every rider is required to wear them. Instead, Houston motorcycle helmet laws depend on how experienced a rider is and their insurance coverage. Contact a diligent motorcycle accident attorney at Roberts Markland LLP to learn more about helmet regulations.

What Motorcycle Helmet Laws Apply to Young Riders?

Any motorcycle rider or passenger younger than 21 in Houston must wear a helmet when on a bike. However, this safety gear must meet federal safety requirements. A rider may receive a violation if the helmet is not compliant with federal safety standards.

Police sometimes stop a rider for the sole purpose of ensuring their helmet meets the safety standards. Note that children under five years old may not ride motorcycles in Texas.

Helmets Not Mandatory for Adult Riders

Riders 21 and older are not required to wear helmets if they can prove they are exempt from the helmet requirements. For example, Texas Transportation Code §661.003 allows adult riders to forego wearing a helmet if they:

  • Have completed a motorcycle safety training course
  • Have health insurance that will cover them if they get into a motorcycle accident

Adult passengers traveling with these riders are also relieved from wearing a helmet, but helmets remain mandatory for passengers under 21. However, it is an offense for an adult to ride a motorcycle in Houston without a helmet if they have not taken a training course or do not have health insurance.

Law enforcement is not likely to stop a rider to find out if they require a helmet. Instead, police can check whether the rider meets the helmet exemption if they pull the biker over for another infraction or offense.

Helmets Offer Physical and Financial Protection in an Accident

Although the law offers some adults the option to forego a helmet, all riders should think carefully about whether that is the right decision. Although going without a helmet might feel more comfortable, not wearing safety gear has significant risks.

Head protection is proven to reduce serious head injuries in motorcycle riders. Not wearing a helmet could lead to severe head injuries that impair a person’s mobility, cognitive function, and ability to communicate. Likewise, people with severe head trauma often need full-time care and sometimes cannot live independently.

Failing to wear a helmet could reduce the damages a rider receives in a lawsuit. According to Texas Civil Practice Law and Rules §33.001, each party in an accident is responsible for the results of their actions, meaning an insurance company or jury is likely to hold a biker with head or facial trauma partially liable for their injuries even if someone else caused a crash. A knowledgeable lawyer in Houston could discuss motorcycle helmet laws further during a private consultation.

Consult a Houston Attorney Regarding Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Motorcycle accidents cause severe injuries that can impact every aspect of your life. While you are entitled to receive damages from the negligent party that contributed to your injuries, you might recover less money if you failed to wear head protection. If the law requires you to wear a helmet, but you were not wearing one during a collision, you could have difficulty recovering damages without help from a seasoned attorney.

Fortunately, a local lawyer could make a case for damages even if you violated applicable Houston motorcycle helmet laws. Call today to get an experienced advocate on your side.