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Motorcycle accident deaths put Texas law into question

Laws regulating motorists and the vehicles they drive are usually designed to maintain safety on the road. This is why certain actions are prohibited and some are made mandatory when driving on the road. However, sometimes a law which had been saving lives is weakened by lawmakers for one reason or another. This seems to have been the case with the motorcycle helmet laws in Texas which are designed to reduce chances of injury in a motorcycle accident.

Texas changed its helmet laws in 1997. Prior to the change, the state law required all riders on motorcycles to wear helmets. However, lawmakers decided to limit this requirement to those younger than 21 years of age. Those who had not completed an education course about motorcycle riding were also mandated to wear helmets. The law also exempted those with $10,000 or more of medical insurance coverage from wearing helmets while riding motorcycles.

The use of helmets declined significantly. There is statistical evidence suggesting that the change in the law may have caused an increase in motorcycle deaths. These types of deaths increased by 31 percent in the first year after the state's motorcycle helmet laws were eased. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes that helmets decrease the chances of death for motorcycle riders by 37 percent.

Therefore, despite the law it may be a good idea for motorcycle riders in Texas to wear their helmets even if they are not required to do so. This could potentially save a person's life if he or she is involved in a motorcycle accident. However, even if a helmet saves a person's life in a crash, he or she may still suffer some injuries as a result of an incident. Some may wish to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit in order to help pay for the inevitable medical bills.

Source: star-telegram.com, "Number of motorcycle deaths should lead to more helmet laws," Bob Ray Sanders, Aug. 8, 2013

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