For Texas riders, understanding and adhering to the state’s motorcycle laws is essential for ensuring a safe and enjoyable riding experience. Whether you are a seasoned rider or a novice, knowing these five laws will help you stay within the legal boundaries and ride with confidence.
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Texas law mandates that all motorcycle riders wear a helmet that meets the safety standards set by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The helmet should have a DOT-approved sticker on the back. It is crucial to wear a helmet not only to comply with the law but also to protect yourself from potential head injuries in case of an accident. However, two exemptions allow riders and operators over 21 to opt out of wearing a helmet: completing a motorcycle operator training and safety course or proof of health insurance that will pay for any injuries that occur while riding a motorcycle.
Operating a motorcycle in Texas requires a special license endorsement, which is in addition to the regular driver’s license. To obtain a Class M license or an M endorsement, riders must pass a written exam, a vision test, and a skills test. Additionally, individuals under the age of 18 must complete a motorcycle operator training course approved by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. It is essential to have the appropriate license and ensure it is up to date to avoid legal complications.
Lane splitting refers to the practice of riding a motorcycle between lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic. However, lane splitting is against the law in Texas. Unlike some states, Texas does not have specific laws addressing lane splitting, which means it is considered illegal. Riders should refrain from engaging in this practice to avoid potential accidents and legal consequences.
Just like operating any motor vehicle, having proper insurance coverage is essential when riding a motorcycle in Texas. State law mandates that all motorcycle owners carry liability insurance to cover potential damages or injuries caused by an accident. Minimum coverage requirements are:
$30,000 in bodily injury per person
$60,000 in total bodily injury per accident
$25,000 in property damage per accident
Having adequate insurance protects both you and others on the road in case of an unfortunate event.
Texas law requires motorcycle riders to use their headlights at all times, day or night. This law enhances visibility and helps other motorists see motorcycles more easily. In addition to the headlight, motorcycles must also have a functioning taillight, brake light, and turn signals. Regularly inspecting and maintaining the lights on your motorcycle ensures that you are in compliance with the law and reduces the risk of a crash.
Staying up to date with the laws and regulations governing motorcycle operations in Texas is crucial, as they may change over time. For help understanding how a Texas law can impact a motorcycle accident case or for a free case evaluation, contact a trusted Houston motorcycle accident lawyer today.