Understanding Motorcycle Laws Can Help You in an Accident

Motorcycle riders have a unique set of laws in place that other drivers do not have to adhere to. If you ride a motorcycle for your commute or for fun, you need to be familiar with the Texas motorcycle laws to understand how they can protect you both physically and legally. 

Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents happen. If you are involved in a collision on a motorcycle, personal injury lawyer Roger "Rocky" Walton can determine whether you have a case and protect your best interests*. Rocky is a knowledgeable, board-certified personal injury trial lawyer representing clients in Arlington, TX, and the surrounding areas. He offers free consultations for his clients. To learn more about motorcycle laws and how they can affect you, schedule a free case review online or call us at (817) 429-4299.

Because of their smaller build and maneuverability, motorcycles have a unique set of laws in place to protect riders and other drivers.

Motorcyclists Laws: Designed to Keep You Safe

Motorcyclists have their own set of laws in place primarily to keep them safe. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle rider fatalities occurred 28 times more often than car passenger fatalities during accidents in 2016. Motorcycles do not have the protective features that motor vehicles do, which increases the risk of a serious or fatal injury during an accident. Following your state's motorcycle laws can reduce your risk of serious injury as well as protect your interests in case of an accident. 

Familiarizing yourself with Texas motorcycle laws can help keep you out of legal trouble as well as protect your safety on the road.

Important Laws to Remember

Each time you go for a ride, it is important to keep the law in mind. 

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is when a rider splits between rows of vehicles going in the same direction. Lane splitting is only legal in California, although the state of Texas is currently contemplating making it legal. One potential danger of lane splitting happens when a motorcyclist is in a driver’s blind spot. If the driver suddenly changes lanes, they can cause an accident and potentially throw the rider from his or her seat. 

Passengers

You must be at least five years old to ride as a passenger on a motorcycle in Texas. If you are a passenger under the age of 21, you are also are required to wear a helmet. If the driver meets the requirements for not wearing a helmet, a passenger over 21 years old can ride without a helmet.

License

According to the NHTSA, twenty-seven percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents did not have valid motorcycle licenses. In order to drive a motorcycle, you need to have a valid motorcycle license. Failure to do so can make you legally liable in the event of an accident. 

Required Motorcycle Safety Equipment in Texas

In order to be on the road, your bike should be equipped with safety gear such as: 

  • Brakes
  • Tires
  • Horn
  • Mirror
  • Steering mechanism
  • Vehicle ID number
  • Head lamp
  • Tail lamp
  • Stop lamp
  • License plate lamp
  • Rear reflector
  • Wheel assembly
  • Exhaust system

Motorcycle operators and passengers are also required to wear helmets meeting Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. This may not only save you from legal trouble. It can also save your life. The NHTSA estimates that helmets saved almost 2,000 lives in 2016 and could have saved more than 800 lives if all motorcyclists had worn helmets. 

Keep in mind that when you purchase your motorcycle and equipment, you are doing because you believe that they are in good, working, safe condition. If you believe that faulty or defective equipment contributed to your accident, you may be entitled to compensation from a product liability lawsuit. 

Speak to An Attorney

Familiarizing yourself with Texas motorcycle laws can help keep you out of legal trouble as well as protect your safety on the road. Even if you follow the law, you can still end up in a collision on account of another driver. If that happens, schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney at the Law Firm of Roger “Rocky” Walton, P.C. by calling us at (817) 429-4299.

* Results are not guaranteed. 

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