Texas Motorcycle Safety Tips & Laws
Headgear StandardsOne of the most exhilarating feelings is flying down the open road on a motorcycle. Without the constraints of a car, motorcycle drivers can really enjoy the outdoors at top speeds. However, just like any other driver, motorcyclists have rules and laws to abide by every time they get on their bikes. Texas motorcycle laws are put in place to ensure the safety of the driver, since he or she is far more exposed to the elements than drivers of enclosed vehicles, and to ensure the safety of others on the road by prohibiting motorcyclists from abusing their privileges.
A person on a motorcycle must at ALL TIMES wear protective headgear that meets all safety standards set forth by the American National Standards Institute. Failure to wear a helmet, whether passenger or driver, will result in a violation and a fine issued to the driver.
Approved Licensing Courses
Anyone interested in driving a motorcycle in Texas must first go through an approved motorcycle basic rider course. A basic rider course is required by law for all motorcycle licenses. This will teach you the ins and outs of driving your bike, including proper turning, body shifting, hand signals, etc.
Driving Between Lanes
While not specifically addressed in Texas motorcycle law, one of the main traffic statutes for all vehicles renders “lane splitting” illegal. The Texas Transportation Code states:
- “An operator of a vehicle driving on a roadway divided into 2 or more clearly marked lanes for traffic shall drive as nearly practical entirely within a single lane, and may not move from the lane unless that movement can be made safely.”
Motorcycles are considered as equal to cars, so if you’re caught driving in between lanes, this statute may come into play.
Safety Tips for Motorcycles
Because motorcyclists are far more vulnerable to hazards because they’re out in the open, closer attention to safety must be paid to them and by them when on the roads. Some of these safety tips for motorcycle drivers include:
- Always wear a helmet and heavy protective clothing.
- Turn your headlights on so other cars can see you better.
- Ride at a safe and responsible speed.
- Avoid the large blind spots of trucks and semitrailers.
- Drive defensively, and always look ahead for potential hazards.
- Other vehicles also need to watch out for motorcycles and always be sure to:
- Check your blind spot to make sure a biker isn’t riding there
- Maintain a safe following distance
- Always allow the motorcyclist a full lane