How do other states' motorcycle helmet laws compare with Texas law?

Harris County motorcycle accident attorneys reply that Texas only requires bikers under the age of 21 to wear motorcycle helmets. Riders 21 and over can legally choose not to wear helmets of they meet certain conditions. Click here to learn the precise provisions of the Texas motorcycle helmet law.

On the other hand, 19 states and the District of Columbia require ALL bikers to wear motorcycle helmets. 3 states don’t require any riders to wear helmets. These states are New Hampshire, Iowa, and Illinois. 28 states, including Texas, have provisions that legally require only some riders, usually younger or inexperienced bikers, to wear motorcycle helmets.

Our Harris County motorcycle accident attorneys point out that 23 states also have helmet laws that apply to riders of low-power cycles. Different states vary in their interpretation of low-power cycle, often defining them as those with engine displacement of 50 cc or less. Texas draws the line at 40 cc. 24 states and the District of Columbia have laws applying to some low-power cycle riders.

On a related note, 21 states and the District of Columbia require some bicyclists, mostly the younger cyclists, to wear helmets. 29 states, by contrast, have no laws requiring bicyclists to wear helmets. But we note that in a collision with a stronger vehicle, which is a constant danger to bicyclists that use public roadways, a rider without a helmet experiences very high risks of severe head injuries and death.

The first real motorcycle helmet laws in the United States came into play in the late 1960s. In 1967, the U.S. government pressured the individual U.S. states to pass motorcycle helmet laws to qualify for certain highway construction funds and federal safety programs.

The states, faced with the choice of federal funding or drastically reduced budgets, complied. By the first half of the 1970s, most of the U.S. states had laws on the books requiring all motorcyclists to wear helmets. Then in 1976, states got together and lobbied Congress in an effort to prevent the U.S. DOT from slapping states without helmet laws with financial penalties.

Michigan became the first state to repeal its universal motorcycle helmet law. Subsequent years have seen an ongoing trend in which the individual U.S. states, repeal, amend, and reenact various motorcycle helmet laws. Our Galveston motorcycle accident attorneys note that in 2009, Texas updated its motorcycle helmet law to its current form.

News articles covering motorcycle accidents often report whether or not the rider was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. A quick perusal of these reports shows that in those accidents where riders did not wear helmets, a larger proportion of the riders suffer severe head injuries or death.

Contact a Harris County Board Certified Motorcycle Injury Attorney Today

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a Texas motorcycle accident, contact our dedicated Houston motorcycle accident attorneys at Denena & Points for a free consultation. We have a successful track record more than a decade long of helping injured motorcyclists to make full financial recoveries for their injuries.

Tony Denena and Chad Points know how to overcome anti-biker bias and the prejudices that often tend to reduce bikers’ financial recoveries. Call us today at (713) 807-9500 or schedule your free legal consultation through our convenient online contact form.