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A Look At Motorcycle Laws In The State of Texas

Attorney Brian Brunson - Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer

In every state, including Texas, the control and regulation of vehicles on public roads is crucial for maintaining order and safety. This extends to motorcyclists, who are bound by the same traffic laws as other motorists. However, there are specific Texan laws aimed at governing the operation of motorcycles. Being unaware of these Texas motorcycle laws can lead to legal consequences. Some essential motorcycle laws in Texas that all riders should be familiar with are outlined below.

Motorcycle License Requirements

The state of Texas mandates that individuals who desire to ride motorcycles on public roads must have a unique license commonly known as the “Class M License.” To acquire this license, one must fulfill all requirements for a regular driver’s license and also complete a Texas Department of Public Safety-approved safety course. After successfully finishing the course, you must present proof of completion in order to obtain your Class M License. Should you possess a valid motorcycle license from another state, the safety course requirement may be waived.

Wearing a Helmet

According to Texas law, all motorcyclists under the age of 21 are required to wear a helmet while riding. For those aged 21 and above, wearing a helmet is compulsory unless they qualify for one of two exceptions:

1. Completion of a state-approved motorcycle safety course.
2. Possession of an insurance plan that specifically covers healthcare costs resulting from a motorcycle accident.

It’s essential to note that current Texan motorcycle legislation prohibits law enforcement officers from stopping riders solely for the purpose of determining if either exception applies.

Despite helmet-wearing exemptions for certain motorcyclists in Texas law, it is still highly recommended that riders consistently use helmets when operating their motorcycles. Research indicates that helmets are approximately 37% effective in preventing fatalities during motorcycle accidents and around 67% efficient in mitigating brain injuries.

Transporting Passengers

Introducing your children or young relatives to motorcycles might seem like lighthearted fun; however, doing so could lead to a traffic violation. In Texas, the law prohibits children younger than five years old from being passengers on a motorcycle. Nevertheless, these young passengers are permitted to ride in sidecars.

Lane Splitting

One of the primary appeals of motorcycles is their compact size and agile handling capabilities. Many riders exploit these qualities, engaging in a practice called “lane splitting” to navigate faster through heavy traffic. Lane splitting, however, is illegal in Texas.

Partaking in lane splitting and subsequently getting involved in an accident can make it increasingly difficult for you to receive compensation for any damages or injuries incurred. Furthermore, you may face steep fines and accrue points on your license because of this unlawful activity. To avoid potential injury and further legal complications, we highly recommend adhering to Texas law and avoiding lane splitting.

Liability Insurance

Motorcyclists are mandated to possess compulsory liability insurance covering a minimum of $30,000 for each individual injured in an accident and $60,000 for multiple persons injured in the same incident. Furthermore, this insurance must also encompass property damage coverage of no less than $25,000.

Random Facts

  • Although eye protection is not obligatory while riding on the road, it becomes a requirement for individuals taking their motorcycles off-road.
  • Texas imposes no restrictions on the noise levels produced by motorcycles.
  • Motorcyclists must use daytime headlights, except for those riding motorcycles produced before 1975.
  • There are no specific constraints on utilizing helmet speakers.
  • A motorcycle should have at least one rear-view mirror, and there are no limitations on the use of radar detectors.

Practice Safe Driving

One crucial step to minimizing the risk of a motorcycle accident is to adhere to all relevant laws and regulations diligently. Avoid speeding or disregarding stop signs, always yield right of way when necessary, and follow any motorcycle-specific regulations such as helmet laws, lane-splitting rules, and restrictions on weaving through stationary traffic. Violating traffic laws during an accident may not only result in fines but could also impede your ability to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost income, or other losses.

Ride Within Your Limits

It’s also essential to keep your ego in check when operating a motorcycle. Motorcycles have varying levels of power, maneuverability, acceleration, and braking capabilities. Your skill level and experience will significantly influence the type of motorcycle that suits you best. For instance, a relatively inexperienced rider may struggle to handle a large, powerful bike safely, whereas a more seasoned rider might find a beginner’s motorcycle insufficient. Consider the surfaces on which you’ll be riding, as specific bike models are better suited for paved roads and shouldn’t be taken on dirt or gravel surfaces. If you reside in an area with numerous non-paved roads, consulting with a dealer while purchasing your motorcycle may be a valuable step. Always practice defensive driving to counter drivers who may not be paying adequate attention to their surroundings or should not be operating a vehicle on the road.

If You’ve Been Injured in a Dallas Fort Worth Motorcycle Accident, Contact Us Today

Named one of the “Best Car Accident Lawyers in Dallas” by Expertise.com, Brian Brunson is Dallas personal injury attorney who is dedicated to helping clients who have suffered a car, truck, or motorcycle injury through the negligent or wrongful conduct of other drivers. In addition, his professionalism is unmatched and the firms’ client reviews speak for themselves.

We proudly serve the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and surrounding areas, our office supports the legal needs of a wide variety of clients. Let the Law Office of Brian Brunson be your advocate in your time of need and help you put your life back together. If we can’t win or settle your case, you don’t pay a dime! We know it can be daunting to take that first step after you’ve been hurt. Contact Brian Brunson today via email or call us toll-free at 1-844-41-WRECK. We can help, when no one else will.

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