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Texas Helmet Law Question

3346 Views 90 Replies 43 Participants Last post by  shuckaduck
OK. I'm from Louisiana I meet the Texas requirements to ride without a helmet for age and insurance, but is it legal for me to ride without a helmet.

Someone said I need to have a "no helmet" sticker???

I am at College Station for the week and I rode in. One of my co-works showed up and the local car rental place is "out of cars." I am wondering if we can ride around legally without helmets... or will I get a ticket if he isn't wearing one?

Thanks... Ken
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You are suppose to have a sticker and have had a motorcycle safety course. The sticker says you had the safety course and paid the $5.00 for the sticker.
Ride to Carlos,Tx while you are close.
Wrong the $5 sticker is optional. Just a way for the state to screw you out of $$$. You are suppose to have the sticker OR the MSC card OR proof of $$$$life insuramce.

I always wear a helmet and support a national mandatory helmet law but think the majority of helmetless riders in Texas do not comply with current law.

I know of no examples where anyone was ticketed for no helmet over the age of 18
You can't fix stupid.

Cover just the parts you want to keep.
We have a rider about every two weeks who dies on a bike in Houston. There is one common thread for most. No helmet. So I am glad you have been down and have not been killed. I hope your luck holds up.

Let's do a simple test. Take a 20 oz hammer lift it three feet in the air and drop it on your head. You may not die but your skull will be crushed. Now do the same test with a helmet on. You will scratch and possibly dent the helmet. There is a reason car racers, bike racers wear helmets. You can't fix stupid. But that's your choice and your loved ones may have to live with it.
So how many of these riders can you prove would have lived had they had a helmet on? Hopefully no hammers will hit me riding down the road, but if it is to be?!?!? And yes, racers do wear helmets, Earnhardt still died as do many others. So that is not a good argument. But I still ask why must you refer to me as stupid just because I do not agree with your belief? There is no doubt that helmets will protect from some injuries, I do not discount that. But I am willing to take that risk, it is no different than eating fatty foods or smoking, they both also can kill but most people do them anyway. As for my loved ones, while we all know they would mourn my loss (at least most of them:shock:) they would all know that I died doing something that I loved. Of course it helps when all of the motorcyclists in my family feel the same way about helmets, even my 70 yr old dad !!!
The hammer respresents your skull slamming on the pavement at 30mph. It is a good argument I have raced and have been down many times, I wouldn't be caught dead without a helmet.

Your Earnnhardt example is poor. Earnhardt died of head injuries, "particularly to the base of the skull. He was unconscious and unresponsive from the time of the first paramedics' arrival. He was not breathing and had no palpable pulse and remained that way throughout."Actually he died from his head snapping back not from the protection the helmet offered. And they have made a device to help prevent this head snapping back.Thousands of racers are alive today because of their helmets. When talking about helmets; Food arguments are weak. I feel sorry for you and hope you don't go down.

The helmet issue is one of the hottest topics and I realize it is your choice by law. I wish is was not.

Motorcyclist deaths spike as helmet laws loosen

By John Yaukey and Robert Benincasa, Gannett News Service
WASHINGTON — Death rates from motorcycle crashes have risen steadily since states began weakening helmet laws about a decade ago, according to a Gannett News Service analysis of federal accident reports.
As deaths have increased, so has the proportion of older riders killed. Dying on a motorcycle could soon become a predominantly middle-aged phenomenon, the analysis shows.
Most states once required all motorcycle riders to wear helmets. A trend in the other direction began accelerating after 1995, during the same period the federal government decided to stop withholding highway money from states without helmet laws.
As states weakened or repealed the laws, the percentage of riders who wore helmets began dropping. And fatality rates increased.
In 1996, 5.6 motorcyclists were killed for every 10,000 registered motorcycles, according to Department of Transportation (DOT) statistics. By 2006, the most recent data available, the rate had risen to 7.3, the analysis shows.
FIND MORE STORIES IN: Oklahoma | Maryland | Iowa | Mississippi | New Hampshire | Kansas | Montana | Gannett | National Transportation Safety Board | Honda | Department of Transportation | National Conference of State Legislatures | Southeastern | Northern Virginia | Transportation Secretary Mary Peters | Bikers Aimed Toward Education | Fatality Analysis Reporting System | Terry Howard
In raw numbers, the annual death toll rose from 2,160 to 4,810 over that same period.
Meanwhile, fatality rates for all other passenger vehicles have been falling, DOT officials say.
"The data are pretty compelling," said Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, herself an avid motorcyclist who survived a crash thanks to a helmet she displays in somewhat battered condition in her office. "It's discouraging to see the (fatality) numbers going up. But at least people are talking about it now."
Two decades ago, 47 states required helmets for all riders. Today, 20 do. Twenty-seven states require helmets only for younger riders. Three — Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire — don't require helmets at all.
The analysis of data from the government's Fatality Analysis Reporting System of motorcycle deaths between 2002 and 2006 also found:
• About 42% of riders killed were not wearing helmets.
• Half of those killed lost control and crashed without colliding with another vehicle. Motorcyclists account for about 2% of vehicles on the road but 10% of all traffic fatalities, according to federal statistics
• Southeastern states had some of the highest fatality rates in 2006. Some of these states require all riders to wear helmets, but they also have long riding seasons that expose bikers to more risk over time.
• Nearly half of motorcyclists killed in 2006 were 40 and older, and nearly a quarter were 50 or older. The average age of those killed was about 38.
Transportation officials say the age trends reflect the growing popularity of motorcycles among older people with increasing incomes but decreasing physical dexterity and reaction times.
Critics of motorcycle helmet laws say riders should be guided by common sense rather than a government mandate.
They promote their views through advocates like ABATE (American Bikers Aimed Toward Education), which, with chapters in most states, tracks helmet legislation and lobbies against it.
"It's my body, and I should have the right to do with it as I choose," said Terry Howard, state coordinator for ABATE of Colorado, which fought the state's recent adoption of a helmet law for riders under 18.
Not all bikers agree.
Simon Rosa, 22, of Northern Virginia, has no problem with the helmet law there. In 2003, he crashed his Honda sport bike making a turn.
"I still have the helmet and it has scratches all over it, so I could have suffered a nasty head injury," he said. "You just never know what's going to happen, regardless of how good a rider you are."
Federal statistics show that in states that weaken or repeal helmet laws, helmet use drops. In 1994, when the U.S. government still penalized states without helmet laws, 63% of riders wore helmets. By 2006, that percentage had dropped to 51%.
The National Transportation Safety Board unanimously recommended last year that states require all riders to wear helmets — the first time in its 40-year history that the independent panel weighed in on motorcycle safety.
"Medical and other costs for unhelmeted riders involved in crashes are staggering," the board notes on its website.
Opponents of helmet laws passionately dispute such claims.
"It's just a myth that states without helmet laws are an extra burden on society," said Jeff Hennie of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.
Last year, 25 states considered laws to increase motorcycle safety, including laws mandating helmet use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas, Montana and Oklahoma took up bills that would have required all motorcyclists, not just young riders, to wear helmets. None passed.
The most notable change occurred in Colorado, which previously had no helmet law but now requires them for riders under 18.
Comparing accident rates by state can be tricky.
For example, New Hampshire and Iowa, which have no helmet laws, reported fatality rates of 3.0 and 3.5 per 10,000 motorcycles, respectively, in 2006. By comparison, the rates in Mississippi and Maryland, which require helmets for all riders, were much higher — 20 and 12 respectively.
Helmet law advocates note that cold-weather states like New Hampshire have a much shorter riding season and that roads in states like Iowa with flat, open terrain and extended visibility are less dangerous.
"There are a lot of factors at work here," said Russ Radar with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. "You can't look at just the fatality rate of any given state and make judgments based entirely on that."
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National News
Study Hits States Without Helmet Laws

August 24, 2006
According to a study by Jeffrey Coben, M.D., a researcher at West Virginia University, states that do not require motorcycle riders and passengers to wear helmets may be contributing to the unnecessary deaths, hospitalizations, and long-term disabilities.
Traffic deaths last year reached the highest level since 1990, due to an increase in motorcycle and pedestrian fatalities. Motorcycle deaths rose for an eight straight year.
"Almost nine percent of all U.S. traffic deaths are attributed to motorcycle riding," said Dr. Coben, director of the Center for Rural Emergency Medicine at West Virginia University. "In 2004 more than 4,000 people were killed in motorcycle accidents - an 89 percent increase since 1997 - and more than 76,000 were injured."
Coben is lead author of a new research study that compares motorcycle injuries in states with helmet laws with those in states with little or no helmet regulation.
The researchers found that states without universal helmet laws reported a higher number of motorcycle crash victims hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of brain injuries: 16.5 percent versus 11.5 percent in states with mandatory use laws. The in-hospital death rate among states without mandatory helmet laws was also higher - 11.3 percent versus 8.8 percent.
"Helmets are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries," said Coben. "Analyzing injuries by state, we found that patients from states that do not have universal helmet laws had a 41 percent increase in risk of a Type 1 traumatic brain injury. Type 1 brain injuries include head injures likely to result in permanent disability, including paralysis, persistent vegetative state, and severe cognitive deficits.
Coben, a practicing emergency physician at WVU and researcher at the WVU Injury Control Research Center added, "Our research shows that a large proportion of patients with severe brain injuries will require long-term care. Hospitalized patients in states without universal helmet laws are also more likely to lack private health insurance, which leaves the public to bear the brunt of the resulting financial burden associated with choosing to not wear a helmet."
Universal helmet laws require all motorcyclists to wear this protective gear while riding. States with partial laws require that only some motorcyclists, such as those under age 18 or age 21, wear a helmet while riding. The study is based on data from 33 states, and represents the largest study and most current data available on the hospital care of motorcycle accident victims. Of the 33 states that were studied, 17 had universal helmet laws at the time of the study, 13 had partial use laws, and three had no helmet laws at all.
The study findings also suggest that partial use laws may be ineffective because researchers found little difference in the age distribution of hospitalized cases when comparing states that require those under a certain age to wear helmets to states with no laws.
Coben's co-authors were Claudia A. Steiner, M.D., of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and Ted R. Miller, Ph.D., of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. Their study "Characteristics of Motorcycle-Related Hospitalizations: Comparing States with Different Helmet Laws" was published online in the "Articles in Press" section of Accident Analysis and Prevention. The study was funded by the AHRQ.
Sources: West Virginia University
Accident Analysis and Prevention
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Motorcycle Deaths Rise as Helmet Laws Slacken

Thursday March 27, 2008
Death rates for motorcyclists have been rising since repeals of helmet laws began in 1995, according to USA Today. DOT statistics reflect that 5.6 motorcyclists per 10,000 registered motorcycles were killed in 1996, and the number jumped to 7.3 in 2006. The number of motorcyclists who wear helmets has dropped from 63% in 1994 to 51% in 2006.
There are numerous variables that affect statistics, including the rising age of motorcycle accident victims. But the correlation between helmet use and protection from head injury has been rehashed everywhere from the famous Hurt Report to this October, 2007 NHTSA report. One particularly compelling case study is Florida, where motorcycle deaths rose significantly after helmet laws were repealed.
The USA Today story is well balanced, with opinions represented
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Last post I know I am talking to a wall:banghead:Motorcycle Helmets
The Facts of Life

Helmets and Motorcycle Safety
Each year more than 2,200 people are killed and more than 55,000 are injured in motorcycle crashes.
If these individuals had been wearing helmets, many of these deaths and disabling injuries would not have happened. Why? Because a helmet is the motorcyclist's most effective piece of safety equipment
Yes, there are other important aspects to a comprehensive motorcycle safety program-rider training, motorcycle licensing, alcohol and other drug education, and motorist awareness. Helmets won't prevent crashes, but they clearly will cut down on deaths and injuries when collisions occur. And no other aspect of a motorcycle safety program has been proven more effective than state helmet laws.

The evidence is overwhelming. Consider the following:
  • More than 80 percent of all motorcycle crashes result in injury or death to the motorcyclist.
  • Per mile driven, a motorcyclist is 16 times more likely to die in a crash than an automobile driver. Wearing a motorcycle helmet reduces that risk by almost one-third (29 percent).
  • Head injury is a leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes. Riders who don't wear helmets and who experience a crash are 40 percent more likely to sustain a fatal head injury.
  • A study of 900 motorcycle crashes (conducted by the University of Southern California) showed that wearing a helmet was the single most critical factor in preventing or reducing head and neck injuries among motorcycle drivers and passengers.
  • From 1984 through 1995, helmets saved the lives of more than 7,400 motorcyclists. But more than 6,300 additional deaths could have been prevented if all riders had been wearing helmets.
  • Studies show that laws requiring helmet use are very effective in reducing motorcycle fatalities because such laws influence more people to wear helmets. In Louisiana, the first state to repeal and then re-adopt a helmet law for all riders, there were 30 percent fewer motorcycle deaths during 1982, the first year that the helmet law was reinstated.
  • Hospitalization costs are higher for motorcycle crash victims who don't wear helmets, compared to those who do. Numerous studies comparing hospital costs of helmeted and unhelmeted motorcyclists involved in crashes have found costs for unhelmeted riders to average $3,000 more than for helmeted riders. And, riders who don't wear helmets are less likely to have health insurance, resulting in the cost of their care being forced on to taxpayers.

:congrats:Helmets Don't Cause Injuries

The facts simply don't support the claim by some helmet use opponents that helmets cause injuries rather than prevent them. After investigating 900 motorcycle crashes and 980 resulting head and neck injuries, the University of Southern California study concluded that
  • Helmeted riders and passengers experienced significantly fewer and Jess severe head and neck injuries than unhelmeted riders and passengers.
  • Only four of the 980 head and neck injuries were attributed to safety helmets and all were minor injuries. "Each of these four cases showed that protection from possible fatal injury was achieved, but with a small penalty of a 'band aid' type injury." These minor injuries included bruises and abrasions to the neck, jaw, nose, and head. In each case, the helmet prevented possible fatal or critical head injury.
  • There is a critical need for the use of protective equipment by every motorcycle rider. The contemporary motorcycle helmet provides a significant reduction of head and neck injury without any adverse effect on vision, hearing, or vulnerability for other injury
Helmets Don't Impair Vision or Hearing
Helmets don't obscure vision.
In fact, less than three percent of peripheral vision is limited by a motorcycle helmet, according to a study conducted to investigate helmets and vision. All helmets provide a field of vision of more than 210 degrees-well above the 140 degree standard that state driver licensing agencies use to identify vision problems. Most helmeted motorcycle riders simply turn their heads a little more, if necessary, in order to check traffic.
Helmets don't impair hearing.
A motorcyclist out on the road will hear just as well or even better with a helmet as without one, according to the US Department of Transportation. Why? Because for someone without a helmet, the wind and sound of the engine are very loud, and any other important sounds must be even louder to be heard over all that noise. With a helmet on, surrounding sounds are quieter, but in equal proportions. This means that what can be heard over wind and engine noise without a helmet, can also be heard in the same way with a helmet since wind and engine noise will also be reduced. Technically speaking, the signal to noise ratio stays the same.
A recent study to assess the impact of a motorcycle helmet on vision and hearing capabilities found that helmet use neither reduced the ability of riders to see traffic nor increased the time needed to visually check for nearby traffic. Helmet use also did not make a difference in a rider's ability to hear surrounding traffic sounds.

Helmets Protect at Normal Speeds
Helmet law opponents often claim, incorrectly, that helmets cause injuries at speeds above 13.66 miles per hour (mph) because they cannot absorb forces beyond that speed. In fact, a study conducted by the University of Southern California found that most motorcycle crashes do not involve a rider crashing head-on into a fixed object, but rather a rider traveling at 25-30 mph who strikes the pavement or other surface at an angle. Helmet safety performance criteria established by the US Department of Transportation are based, in part, on crash data demonstrating what typically happens to motorcyclists in actual crashes. Helmets are tested at a 13.3 mph vertical drop to simulate the types of angle impacts that occur at much higher speeds. Crash data confirms that helmets are very effective in preventing head injuries in crashes at speeds greatly exceeding 13 mph.

Despite the overwhelming evidence, some motorcyclists refuse to wear helmets and persistently oppose any helmet use laws. Their argument is that helmet laws are government interference, and that these laws interfere with the freedom to take risks and to gamble against death and permanent injury. But what kind of freedom is that? And who pays the price for those who gamble and lose? Families of the injured, as well as society as a whole (i.e., taxpayers) must bear the tremendous economic, psychological, and social costs involved in deaths and injuries to unhelmeted cyclists The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates more than $7.5 billion was saved from 1984 through 1995 because of the use of helmets. An additional $6.8 billion would most likely have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets. The facts speak for themselves. Helmet use laws, like safety belt use and many other traffic safety laws, make good, common sense for motorcyclists and the general public.

US Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Administration
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while discussing right and wrong, it is against Texas code to display the state flag with writing or images applied on it.
What code would that be? The Dudley Doo Right Code?
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