According to the Texas Department of Transportation, motorcyclists who are over the age of 21, have completed a department-approved Motorcycle Operator Training Course, or can provide proof of at least $10,000 in medical insurance coverage are not required to wear a helmet while riding.
And while the Centers for Disease Control reports that Helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69%, and reduce the risk of death by 37%, our laws do not require eligible motorcyclists to wear them — making the choice a personal decision.
That means if a negligent driver injures a helmet-less rider, the motorcyclist can still pursue financial recovery to pay their medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses incurred from the crash.
Our skilled motorcycle accident attorney in Houston, Charles J. Argento, helps Texas riders understand their legal rights and options to pursue a successful personal injury claim, whether they were wearing a helmet or riding without one.
Motorcyclists Have the Same Rights to the Road as Other Vehicles
Last year, throughout the state of Texas, over 480 riders lost their lives and 1,856 were seriously injured in crashes on our roadways.
Our Harris County personal injury attorney knows that the majority of these crashes could have been prevented if motorists gave motorcyclists the same amount of respect they would another passenger vehicle.
When drivers disregard the rider’s existence or underestimate their speed or distance, it is typically the motorcyclist who ends up hurt or killed in the crash.
The combination of distracted driving, congested roadways, and the difficulty of seeing motorcycles in traffic has led to many preventable fatalities each year.
Because of the overwhelming number of motorcycle crashes that occur throughout the state, the Texas Department of Transportation created the Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles motorcycle safety and public awareness campaign urging motorists to pay closer attention to riders on our roadways.
Failure-to-Yield Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists must follow the same rules of the road as drivers of cars and trucks, but often it’s other motorists who do not understand or heed these rules, particularly involving right of way. In many cases, drivers cause accidents by simply failing or forgetting to yield the right of way to motorcyclists; motorists are also more likely to pull out in front of a motorcycle than another car or truck. Motorcycle accidents involving a failure to yield the right of way frequently occur when:
- The car driver fails to look out for motorcycles while making a turn onto another street or at an intersection
- The car driver turns in front of a motorcyclist without using turn signals
- The car driver doesn’t check his or her blind spot and sideswipes the motorcycle.
- The car driver crowds the motorcyclist, causing him or her to run off the road or into oncoming traffic.
In failure-to-yield motorcycle accidents, the at-fault driver is usually the car or truck driver who violated the motorcyclist’s right of way, but it’s generally the motorcyclist who pays the price—often with his or her life, as in the accident described above. Another tough pill to swallow… Because car and truck drivers are less likely to be injured in an accident with a motorcycle, they may be more likely to flee the scene. In a Houston motorcycle and car accident that occurred on the southbound 610 Loop in July, the driver of a BMW fled after crashing into three motorcyclists as they exited the freeway. One motorcyclist was killed and the other two were injured, requiring emergency treatment.
Contact Charles J. Argento for a Free Consultation Today
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident in Texas, contact our experienced Houston personal injury attorney at Charles J. Argento today to schedule a free consultation by calling (713) 225-5050 or by contacting us online to discuss your case to learn more about your legal rights and options to pursue the negligent driver’s insurance coverage for your full financial recovery.