Motorcycle Laws in Texas
Posted in Motorcycle Accident on September 30, 2021
Like drivers, motorcyclists in Texas will need to adhere to certain laws and regulations while operating their vehicles. These rules are important for keeping everyone safe on the road and preventing collisions. Additionally, if a motorcyclist is involved in an accident and is found to have broken Texas motorcycle laws, his or her ability to recover compensatory damages could be affected. If you operate a motorcycle in Texas, it is important to ensure that you adhere to these rules and protect your right to recovery.
Texas Helmet Laws
Unlike other states, Texas does not have a mandatory helmet law for all motorcyclists. According to Chapter 661 of the Texas Transportation Code, motorcyclists who meet the following criteria may ride without a helmet.
- The motorcyclist is 21 years or older.
- The motorcyclist can prove that he or she has completed a motorcycle operator training and safety course.
- The motorcyclist can prove that he or she has health insurance coverage.
Insurance Requirements for Texas Motorcyclists
Motorcyclists must carry certain amounts of liability insurance in case they are involved in an accident. Texas is a fault car accident state, meaning that drivers who are responsible for collisions must pay for the damages of their victims. Motorcyclists can be liable for these accidents as well, and liability insurance helps uphold these financial obligations.
Under Texas law, all motorcyclists must carry the following minimum amounts of liability insurance.
- $30,000 for bodily injury or death liability per person per accident
- $60,000 for total bodily injury or death liability per accident
- $25,000 for property damage per accident
Is Lane Splitting Legal in Texas?
Lane splitting refers to the act of a motorcycle driving along the white lines between two lanes of traffic. Motorcyclists sometimes weave between traffic to escape gridlock or to reach their destinations faster, but lane splitting can put these riders at risk of an accident. Some states have strict laws prohibiting this dangerous practice, while others allow motorcyclists to engage in lane splitting.
Texas laws on lane splitting are unclear. While there is no law that specifically prohibits this act, Chapter 545.060 of the Texas Transportation Code states that all drivers must remain within the same line while driving. As a result, lane splitting is essentially illegal in Texas.
Comparative Negligence in Texas Motorcycle Accident Claims
Following traffic laws is very important, especially for Texas motorcyclists. Since Texas is a fault accident state, could file a lawsuit or insurance claim after a collision with a negligent driver. If the insurance company or court discovers that you were breaching Texas motorcycle laws at the time of the accident, your ability to collect compensation could be at risk.
An insurance adjuster could use this information as justification to reduce or deny your claim. In court, Texas’s comparative negligence laws could reduce your award by the percentage of liability you share. For example, if the court finds you 40% responsible for the accident and you ask for $100,000, you will only receive $60,000.
In these situations, it is important to seek the help of a Texas motorcycle accident lawyer who can protect you against accusations of shared fault and protect your right to compensation. After your accident, medical attention as soon as possible and save all records related to your injuries and treatment. Once you receive the care you need, contact a McAllen motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss your case and strategize your next steps.