Missouri City Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Riding motorcycles is more dangerous than operating most other types of motor vehicles. Bikers do not have the protection of a metal cage, airbags, seatbelts, or other safety devices. While helmets, goggles, and protective clothing cannot provide the same safety as an enclosed vehicle, they can prevent injuries—and even death. Bikers who use them are much more likely to survive an accident and experience fewer—or less severe—injuries.

For many bikers, part of the allure of riding a motorcycle is the feeling of absolute freedom. The wind in their hair adds to the experience, even if it also adds to the risk. In Texas, many bikers have that option. The state’s motorcycle helmet laws require mandatory helmets for some riders but also offer significant exceptions. On balance, it is fair to say that Missouri City motorcycle helmet laws make helmets optional for many bikers and their passengers. Reach out to our trusted attorneys to learn more about how helmet laws can impact a claim for compensation after a wreck.

Texas Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Texas Transportation Code § 661.003 provides that people operating or riding as a passenger on motorcycles without a helmet that meets the state’s safety regulations are committing an offense. While the law seems straightforward, it contains several regulations that take the teeth out of the law. These exceptions only apply to operators who are at least 21 years old. So, any motorcycle operator under the age of 21—or a passenger under the same age—must wear a helmet without exception.

Bikers or passengers aged 21 or over can avoid the helmet requirement. The biker can complete a motorcycle training and safety course. Completion of this course means that a biker can go without a helmet. The law also suggests that a passenger over the age of 21 can avoid the helmet requirement by completing the same course.

Missouri City bikers do not have to complete this course to be legally helmet-free. Another avenue to make helmets optional—and a good idea for any person who rides on motorcycles—is for the biker to carry a health insurance plan that provides medical benefits specifically for injuries from motorcycle wrecks.

Can Police Pull Someone Over for Not Wearing a Helmet?

The answer to that question gets complicated. If a biker—or their passenger—is not wearing a helmet and appears to be under 21, then a Missouri City police officer could pull them over to determine that they are old enough to ride helmetless.

However, if the biker and any passengers are clearly 21 or older, then a law enforcement officer cannot pull a biker over to find out if they have the required health insurance or have completed the motorcycle training class. As a result, the only times that the helmet law becomes relevant for adults 21 and older is if a police officer pulls them over for another traffic violation or if they are in an accident.

Helmet-Wearing and Liability in a Motorcycle Wreck

Going helmetless is a personal choice in Missouri City. However, it is a choice that could have substantial consequences. Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §  33.001 provides that people cannot recover for an injury if they have more than 50 percent of the responsibility for the accident leading to the injury. Known as modified comparative fault, this rule allows people to recover from wrongdoers who harm them, even if the victim’s negligence contributes to the event. However, it prevents the person from recovering if their negligence was the leading cause of the injury.

The law guarantees that Texas bikers who choose not to wear a helmet are aware of their increased risk of injuries. They either have to take a safety course, which emphasizes that helmets decrease risk, or have extra insurance to cover their injuries.

On the other hand, when determining fault, the factfinder has to examine how much of the injury is the result of the choice to go helmetless. In many instances, the biker would have sustained no injuries, regardless of the choice to wear a helmet, but for the wrongdoer’s actions. No person should ever assume that motorcycle helmet laws in Missouri City would prevent them from recovering in a personal injury lawsuit.

Learn More About Motorcycle Helmet Laws From Our Missouri City Attorneys

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may wonder whether being helmetless will impact your ability to recover. The answer to that question is highly fact-specific. Schedule a consultation with a lawyer from our firm to learn how Missouri City motorcycle helmet laws may impact you.

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