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Texas Helmet Law Question

3380 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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How many... LazyRider, not to flame but that's an impossible request. On the other hand we have plenty of folks on this board that have gone down and have the impact zones shown on their helmets to prove it saved their lives or at least saved them from serious injury. Statistically the face, around the chin and forehead are higher impact zones than other areas. I don't know about you, and it's ok if you don't care how you look, but I want to keep my face looking the same for some time to come.

Now have I ridden without a helmet, absolutely. When I was young did I do some of the more crazy stuff on my bike... sure. I remember walking a wheelie around a corner in the early 80's and thinkign it was cool. Now I think "what if there were a car coming when I did that.

Live long enough, and we all hope you do, and you'll appreciate the ride just as much with the gear. Just as a car integrated crumple zones to lessen the jarring impact on a passenger thereby reducing their injuries, this is the same throry of helmets... crumples interior shell lining, or shreds outer helmet skin to protect your skin so your head doesn't have to.

Example

Just my 2 cents..
Joe
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How many... LazyRider, not to flame but that's an impossible request. On the other hand we have plenty of folks on this board that have gone down and have the impact zones shown on their helmets to prove it saved their lives or at least saved them from serious injury. Statistically the face, around the chin and forehead are higher impact zones than other areas. I don't know about you, and it's ok if you don't care how you look, but I want to keep my face looking the same for some time to come.


Live long enough, and we all hope you do, and you'll appreciate the ride just as much with the gear. Just as a car integrated crumple zones to lessen the jarring impact on a passenger thereby reducing their injuries, this is the same throry of helmets... crumples interior shell lining, or shreds outer helmet skin to protect your skin so your head doesn't have to.

Example

Just my 2 cents..
Joe
Well Joe, I know I am not an old timer, only have been riding 35 years. And I never even implied that those who want to wear a helmet should not, I said that my preference with my experience makes me enjoy the ride more without one. What about the fact that not one time has 50% or more helmets passed the mandatory testing to fulfill the DOT requirements? How do you know that the one you bought has? If you look at the testing; price, brand, style not even color guarantee that your helmet meets the DOT standards for safety. That silly little sticker on the helmet just says that when the manufacturer tests his helmet he certifies that it passed, but then we know the manufacturer would never lie to us!
Nothing can guarantee we will not be injured or die while riding a motorcycle, if we are that scared, we should not do so. And for the real cause of Earnhardt dying, I understand very well living in the heart of Nascar country, but it is one more time that the helmet did not save someone. I hope no one ever gets hurt while riding, with or without gear. But my preference is without because I enjoy the ride better. My only gripe is that those that prefer helmets feel they are superior to me and should make my decision as I am not capable. Yet none of them offer to make my bike or insurance payments, just want to tell me what to do :shrug:.
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The last time I was in Texas I saw very few motorcyclist. About 9 over a two week period. Not counting police, more Scooters than Motorcycles. The only ones wearing a helmet were the police and one lone Gold Winger from Arizona.

Here in Southern California you’ll see a rider or group of riders every 30 seconds. Therefore we hear of several MC accidents per day, 1.25 deaths per day (about 500 last year). None of the deaths were due to head trauma. He have helmet laws. If not, the yearly death toll would be in the Thousands.

I seldom post on these topics because frankly it's pointless, but some times it's fun to mix it up. I didn't always wear a helmet because back then times were different. Now I wear a helmet and always will. Once someone understands the danger and chooses to live with it and their decisions don't effect me substantially, then I say let it go. I don't want bigger government mandated to protect adults who understand the risks and accept them.

There are those who argue increased cost for medical but that is so in the weeds. We have so many more issues with government programs run amok that I defy anyone to specifically quantify how much more (or less) not wearing helmets costs me. Right now I would be willing to take the risk that one less government mandated program will actually save me money.
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Here in Southern California you’ll see a rider or group of riders every 30 seconds. Therefore we hear of several MC accidents per day, 1.25 deaths per day (about 500 last year). None of the deaths were due to head trauma. He have helmet laws. If not, the yearly death toll would be in the Thousands.
And what concrete evidence would prove the yearly death tolls would jump from app 500 to THOUSANDS? Sounds like government math to me :lol:
Lazyrider i think u are very smart

i will always wear a helmet when riding
Actually I believe someone not wearing a helmet does affect others.

If someone is in a accident and receives head injuries that could have been prevented by a helmet, their medical bills are more than likely going to be paid by their health insurance. If health insurance payments are higher for non-helmeted riders, then all rider's insurance premiums will probably be higher to cover the costs of those who choose not to wear a helmet and are injured.

I have no proof of the above statement, it is just what I believe to be the case.

I am pro-choice in a lot of things. If you choose to not wear a helmet while riding, go ahead. I also believe in taking responsibility for your choices. If you are in an accident (and I hope you aren't) and you receive injuries that could have been prevented by a helmet, then you should be responsible for any bills associated with treating those injuries, not your health insurance company, or me in the way of my premiums going up.
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Thanks cycledude!!

The truth is, no matter what any of us believe, it is unlikely that these discussions will change anyone's mind. But the one thing I do know for sure is that the discussion is a lot more fun than the work I am supposed to be doing!
The biggest issues whether you are insured or not, is the cost to the average tax payer when you don’t die from your head trauma accident. There is a State ran group home across from my office building. All head trauma victims from who knows what. Some students from the Cal State University system perform their internship there.

It looks like a revolving door as some don’t complete the semester internship program. Very sad and heart retching site to see human beings living their lives with the intellect of a new born puppy.

According to the interns (students) the head trauma victims are in a State home because their families have given up on them. Which happens in the overwhelming majority of the cases. And in the land of helmet laws, the overwhelming majority of those residents “Are” from riding and crashing a motorcycle without a helmet.

I guess they didn’t know how to fall correctly. Maybe they should have crashed their MCs in Texas…no offense to Texans. Cause I R one too.
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Thanks cycledude!!

The truth is, no matter what any of us believe, it is unlikely that these discussions will change anyone's mind. But the one thing I do know for sure is that the discussion is a lot more fun than the work I am supposed to be doing!
I hate it when someone tells me what the truth is ;) but ... the truth is, this is more fun then what I am supposed to be doing.
The biggest issues whether you are insured or not, is the cost to the average tax payer when you don’t die from your head trauma accident. There is a State ran group home across from my office building. All head trauma victims from who knows what. Some students from the Cal State University system perform their internship there.

It looks like a revolving door as some don’t complete the semester internship program. Very sad and heart retching site to see human beings living their lives with the intellect of a new born puppy.

According to the interns (students) the head trauma victims are in a State home because their families have given up on them. Which happens in the overwhelming majority of the cases. And in the land of helmet laws, the overwhelming majority of those residents “Are” from riding and crashing a motorcycle without a helmet.

I guess they didn’t know how to fall correctly. Maybe they should have crashed their MCs in Texas…no offense to Texans. Cause I R one too.
California is bleeding so much red ink because of all their govenment funded programs and lack of fiscal responsibility that they are likely to never see the right side of the ledger. The leading factor contributing to death is ... poverty! No offense to Californians, cause I R one too.
helmets

I am confused.

Someone takes a Safety Course, and then they decide not to wear a helmet?
I am missing something here?
Were they asleep during class?
:banghead:

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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Lazyrider, you are waisting your time on this...but if you want to have a discussion about it that's fine.
I wear a helmet about 95% of the time, guess I just got used to it. Kentucky didn't have a helmet law when I started riding and I didn't own one, let alone wear one....then KY passed the helmet law and I had to wear one...now they have repealed the law and I feel naked without it....but sometimes still go for a short ride without one....

However, I agree with CHOICE, and if you want to go lidless, have at it, it's your choice, I'll never tell anyone ( other than my kids, how hypocritical is that,but that's a dads right) to wear one or not to...

I wish we all could be more accepital of each other....if I want to NOT wear a helmet,what's it matter to you??? if you want to wear every stitch of protective clothing you can fine, what's it matter to me??? As long as I make the payments on my bike, I should have the say in riding it, dressed like I want ( well clothing is mandatory at my age :lol:) go where I want on it, as far as I want etc....

what's next, red bikes are safer than white ones, so everyone has to ride red bikes????? or and tennis shoes are out too, only heavy boots, and no matching helmets, have to be contrasting colors....or forget the trailers, may cause you to loose control...etc, etc, etc...

Get a grip on it guys, unless he's your child, let him ride the way he wants....dress the way he wants...as long as he's doesn't violate the laws...or my eye sight :lol:....

Be safe everyone.
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My only gripe is that those that prefer helmets feel they are superior to me and should make my decision as I am not capable. :shrug:.
Yup. That's how I honestly feel. No Offense. It's just an honest feeling.
I agree with you comments KY, but (and don't take this the wrong way) have you been conversating with George W?

I wish we all could be more accepital of each other....
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
Newswise
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4
According to the interns (students) the head trauma victims are in a State home because their families have given up on them. Which happens in the overwhelming majority of the cases. And in the land of helmet laws, the overwhelming majority of those residents “Are” from riding and crashing a motorcycle without a helmet.
I am not discounting the seriousness of this issue. But when you have a trauma unit, they tend to get people with that kind of injury. Most patients in a burn trauma unit are injured by fire. The term "majority" is ambiguous at best, if there 10 patients, 6 would be the majority and if 10,000 then it would take 5001 to be the majority. Also, if you are in the land of helmet laws, why are they riding without a helmet? Still, I would want to know how many were there as a result of not wearing a helmet opposed to those there that were wearing a helmet and then all of the above compared to how many riders are active in the state? Even though 1 is too many, the percentage would then need to be compared to the percentage of people who have this trauma from other reasons. Just saying that helmets save lives/injuries or anything else does not prove anything. As the old Wendy's commercial said "Where's the beef?"
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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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:banghead:


Motorcyclist deaths spike as helmet laws loosen
I don't guess anyone is arguing with you LAEN, I get the sense that for some the added risk is worth the experience of riding without a helmet. There are also statisics that show that having an accident on a motorcycle is 8 times more likely to be deadly then an accident involving a car.
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