Texas statutes include rules and regulations for all types of motor vehicles on the road, including motorcycles. If you ride a motorcycle, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with Texas motorcycle laws to avoid legal repercussions.
Below, we discuss three important motorcycle laws in Texas. For more in-depth information on Texas motorcycle rules and regulations and for detailed information about safety, skills and training, download and read Texas Department of Public Safety’s (TDPS) free Motorcycle Operator’s Manual.
Texas Motorcycle Laws: Helmets
Texas Transportation Code (TTC), Title 7, Subtitle G, Chapter 661 details the rules regarding motorcycle protective headgear.
Several key things to know are that in Texas, you:
- must wear a helmet if you’re younger than 21;
- don’t have to wear a helmet if you’re older than 21 if you either have completed a motorcycle operator training and safety course successfully or have enough insurance to cover any injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident; and
- can get ticketed for not adhering to the helmet law (although an officer can’t pull you over for the sole purpose of not wearing a helmet).
Helmeted riders triple their chances of surviving a motorcycle head injury in a crash over non-helmeted riders, according to the TDPS.
Texas Motorcycle Laws: Lane Splitting
Motorcycle laws in Texas are vague regarding lane splitting or lane sharing for motorcycles. However, because motorcycles are considered equal in traffic statutes, TCS 545.060 could be applicable: “An operator on a roadway divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic shall:
- drive as nearly as practical entirely within a single lane; and
- may not move from the lane unless that movement can be made safely.”
If you are stopped or are in an accident and you were sharing a lane or trying to ride alongside another vehicle, it essentially will be up to the officer’s interpretation of Texas motorcycle laws as to whether or not you were in violation. Because it’s a dangerous practice and because it’s may have legal repercussions, it’s best to avoid the practice altogether.
Texas Motorcycle Laws: Insurance
All motorcycle owners are required to maintain accident insurance in Texas. TTC § 601.072 mandates that you keep at least the following minimum coverage:
- $20,000 for bodily injury to or death of one person in one accident;
- $40,000 for bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in one accident; and
- $15,000 for damage to or destruction of property of others in one accident.
If, as a motorcyclist, you get in an accident with a driver that has no insurance, you will want to act fast to complete all the necessary steps when in a car accident with an uninsured driver so that your medical bills and property damages get paid.
Additional Motorcycle Accident Laws
In addition to the above laws, there is a whole separate set of rules, rights and responsibilities that come into play should an injury crash occur. If you or a loved one were recently involved in a motorcycle accident, you’ll want to discuss your case with a local motorcycle accident attorney to learn which laws apply to you and to determine your legal options.
If you need legal counsel after a motorcycle accident in or near the Dallas area, consider working with car accident attorney Julie Johnson. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation – 214-290-8001.