When you ride a motorcycle, you need to be aware of laws regarding helmets. The law does not require adult motorcycle riders to wear helmets so long as they comply with certain requirements. Wearing a helmet can still be a good idea because of safety considerations and collateral consequences that might apply to an injury lawsuit arising from a motorcycle crash. A skilled attorney can provide comprehensive guidance about helmet laws.
Whether you have been riding motorcycles for years – or are planning to get your first Class M license – you should understand Temple motorcycle helmet laws.
Under state helmet laws, motorcycle drivers and passengers in Temple must wear helmets on public roadways when they are under 21. However, adults 21 and older can go helmet-free as long as they comply with the provisions of Texas Transportation Code § 661.003. That section provides an exception to the helmet requirement for riders who have either taken an approved motorcycle safety course or have health insurance that would cover them in case they are injured while riding their motorcycle.
The Texas Department of Insurance has issued guidance on what constitutes proof of compliance with the insurance requirement of the law.
A police officer cannot stop a motorcycle rider just because they are not wearing a helmet. Should a police officer stop a rider for violating another traffic law (such as speeding), and the rider is not wearing a helmet when they were supposed to. Then the police officer can issue a citation for the secondary offense of violating the motorcycle helmet law, which carries a fine of up to $50.
Given how exposed riders are, motorcyclists are particularly susceptible to head injuries in collisions and ejections. Head injuries are serious and could lead to traumatic brain injury and even death. Motorcycle helmets are designed to reduce head injuries when the worst happens and a rider crashes.
A motorcycle helmet is compliant with Temple laws if it meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218. Even though a police officer is not allowed to stop someone because they are not wearing a helmet, an officer is allowed to stop someone to see if their helmet complies with FMVSS 218.
Even though the law does not always require adult motorcycle riders to wear helmets, they are advisable from a safety standpoint. Moreover, because of proportionate responsibility, the failure to wear a helmet could potentially impact a rider’s recovery for damages in a lawsuit arising from a crash.
An injured party cannot recover any damages when they are more than 50 percent responsible. Even when they can recover, the court will reduce their damages by the amount they find the person to have been at fault. When a jury looks at the facts of the case and decides an injured rider was partially to blame for injuries that a helmet could have reduced, this could impact the damages awarded to the rider in the lawsuit. A Temple attorney experienced with helmet laws can help evaluate how failure to wear a helmet might impact recovery in a case arising from a motorcycle collision.
When you ride a motorcycle, you want to be educated about Temple motorcycle helmet laws. You want to know who needs to wear a helmet, what kind of helmets satisfy the requirements, and whether there could be consequences for a lawsuit when you suffer an injury while not wearing a helmet.
An experienced attorney can provide the guidance you need to learn about helmet laws and how they might relate to an injury case. Call for a consultation.