Before you or a loved one ride out on a bicycle, you want to make sure that safety is the number one priority. One of the best ways to ensure you and your loved ones remain safe while riding bicycles is to wear a helmet. Studies indicate that wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle reduces the risk of a serious head or brain injury by approximately 63% to 85%.
However, Texas law currently does not require bicyclists of any age to wear a helmet when riding.
Safety is Important – Why Aren’t Helmets Required in Texas?
If you look around for information related to bicycle helmet requirements and Texas, one of the first things that pop up is the website of the actual Texas Department of Transportation. Despite this state not having any laws regarding mandatory bicycle helmets, the Texas DOT still recommends that bicyclists purchase and wear a helmet that fits properly.
However, why aren’t there any laws related to bicycle helmets in Texas? In many other states, even ones where there is no universal bicycle helmet law, there are still requirements for children to wear approved helmets. That is not the case in Texas.
Passing laws is an incredibly hard thing to do, particularly in areas where individuals pride themselves on personal freedom. As the debate has gone on in this state, many argue that choosing whether or not to wear a bicycle helmet is a matter of personal choice and should not be dictated by the state legislature.
Consequences of Not Wearing a Bike Helmet
Not wearing a bicycle helmet can have various consequences revolving around a person’s physical health as well as their financial situation.
According to studies, bicycle helmets have been found to reduce head injuries by approximately 48%, serious head injuries by 60%, traumatic brain injuries by 53%, and face injuries by 23%. Overall, bicycle helmets reduce the total number of bicyclists seriously injured or killed by 34%.
Unfortunately, bicyclists are incredibly exposed, and any collision with a vehicle, fixed object, or the roadway can lead to significant injuries. Without proper protection on their head, a bicyclist is much more likely to sustain significant facial, head, or brain injuries.
These types of injuries most certainly require medical treatment. Unfortunately, medical care can be incredibly expensive. If a bicyclist is injured due to the negligence of another driver, they may be able to recover compensation for their losses, but that is not a guarantee. Failing to wear a helmet could result in a person having to handle all of the medical expenses on their own. This is particularly true if they are responsible for their own crash.
The best way to prevent significant injuries and major financial setbacks is for individuals to wear a bicycle helmet every time they go out on the roadway.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that a bicycle helmet should fit snugly around a person’s head with no spaces between the foam and the rider’s head. There are some bicycle helmets that have removable padding and fit rings that can be adjusted to obtain a good fit on the head. The CDC states that individuals should look for a bicycle helmet with various labels, including one that has the date of the manufacture to help in case there is a helmet recall as well as a helmet that says it is U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) certified.
If you are injured in a collision with a motor vehicle, you should reach out to a bicycle accident lawyer in Houston immediately. They can help you explore your legal options and fight for a fair recovery in your case.