Do I Have To Wear a Helmet On a Motorcycle in Texas?

September 1, 2021 | Motorcycle Accidents

Riding a motorcycle can be a freeing and exhilarating experience, but it does come with risks. Even though the vast majority of motorcycle rides on accident-free, the reality is that severe injuries can occur in the event a collision does happen on the roadway. Helmets are proven to be the best way to reduce the risk of traumatic brain injuries or fatalities in the event a motorcycle accident occurs, but are they required for Texas motorcyclists?

The Texas Motorcycle Helmet Law

The law in Texas requires that any person under the age of 21 wear a helmet when they are riding on a motorcycle. This includes those who are driving a motorcycle as well as motorcycle passengers under the age of 21.

Additionally, riders over the age of 21 are required to wear a helmet unless they can prove one of the following is true:

  • That they have completed an approved motorcycle operator training course
  • The rider has medical insurance coverage (at least $10,000) to handle any injuries that may occur in an accident

The Texas Department of Transportation strongly encourages all motorcyclists to wear a helmet, regardless of their age or whether or not they have completed a safety course.

Can I Get Pulled Over for Not Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet in Texas?

Oddly enough, the police in Texas cannot pull a person over for a suspected helmet violation. There have been several proposals in the Texas Legislature that would close this motorcycle helmet loophole in the state. These proposals would allow police officers to pull somebody over for not wearing a helmet and issue a citation if they are under 21 or have not met an exemption. Currently, no law has passed the state legislature or been signed by the governor.

What Are The Benefits of Motorcycle Helmets?

Data provided by the Texas Department of Transportation shows us that there were 482 total motorcyclist fatalities across the state during the latest reporting year. Additionally, motorcyclists sustained 1,856 suspected serious injuries, 2,687 non-incapacitating injuries, and 1,704 possible injuries during that same reporting year.

Unfortunately, motorcyclists are incredibly vulnerable to sustaining severe injuries if they are involved in a collision. One of the best ways to prevent traumatic brain injuries or fatalities as a result of a motorcycle collision is for motorcyclists to wear a helmet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “The single most effective way for states to save lives and money is a universal helmet law.”

During a recent reporting year, the CDC says that motorcycle helmets saved almost 2,000 lives. They also say that if all motorcyclists had worn helmets during that reporting year, more than 800 more lives could have been saved.

According to the CDC, motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of death by 37% and the risk of a head injury by 69%.

It is crucial for motorcyclists to purchase and use only US DOT-approved motorcycle helmets. There are plenty of counterfeit helmets on the market, and these are prevalent through online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon. If you are going to purchase a helmet, we recommend that you do so at a motorcycle supply retailer in person or through their website.