2017 Clarifications on Motorcycle Law
As car and motorcycle accident lawyers, we see a lot of avoidable tragedies. Motorcycle accidents claim ~4,000 lives annually, and motorcycle riders are more likely to die in an accident. While it is still dangerous, there are some preventative measures you can take to make your motorcycle ride safer.
Texas Motorcycle Helmet Law
In Texas, motorcycle riders over 21 are not required to wear a helmet if they have completed a safety course and are covered under an insurance plan. Our advice to you however is to wear a helmet. So many motorcycle deaths are prevented with the use of a helmet, and even if you don’t die the trauma is extensive. We see motorcycle accident victims with intense facial scarring, broken bones that take months to heal, and extensive brain-related injuries such as paralysis and sensory loss.
There are plenty of helmets available, but we recommend a “full face” helmet with a visor and jaw protection. Most motorcyclists tell us that the one thing they will spend more money on is a helmet. Consider spending more on a helmet to help yourself during an accident.
Beyond a helmet, motorcyclists have lots of safety gear options. The ones we find most useful are the simplest:
- Jacket: A leather (or motorcycle-specific) jacket will help protect you from small objects on the road and also protect you in a fall.
- Pants: Motorcycle pants (typically leather or kevlar-lined) will also help protect you during a fall. Many look and feel like denim and are not too heavy.
- Gloves: Thicker riding gloves are great to protect your hands from wind, debris and falling.
- Helmet-Camera: While it is a newer piece of technology, a helmet-cam can help you prove your case during an accident.
Lane-Sharing is the practice where a motorcycle occupies the same area of a lane as a car or another motorcycle. In Texas, lane-sharing is not legal as of this writing (April 2017), but there is legislation on the table to legalize or partially-legalize it in some areas. While lane-sharing claims to alleviate traffic, it can also be disastrous for a motorcycle rider. There have been many instances of riders lane-sharing only to have a car pull out in front of them suddenly. The difference in traffic speed and motorcycle speed can send a motorcyclist airborne for many feet. We do not recommend lane-sharing, even if it becomes legal in Texas.
If you have questions about motorcycle law or need a motorcycle lawyer to help you with a case, contact Tylka Law Firm. We have helped many motorcyclists claim medical fees and compensation for lost time at work. We are happy to help you in your time of need.