Fort Worth Bicycle Helmet Laws
Head trauma causes more fatalities in bicycle crashes than any other type of injury. Wearing a properly-fitted bicycle helmet can greatly reduce your risk of getting hurt while riding. Although the state of Texas does not strictly require everyone who rides a bike to wear a helmet while doing so, there are some situations where bicycle helmet use is required for certain riders, specifically in Fort Worth.
Understanding Fort Worth bicycle helmet laws can be critical to protecting yourself physically and maximizing your chances of successful civil recovery after a bike wreck caused by another person’s negligence. A knowledgeable bike crash lawyer in Fort Worth could explain your obligations and rights in more detail during a confidential consultation.
State and Local Rules for Bicycle Helmet Use
While federal authorities like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have recognized that head trauma accounts for a substantial number of serious and fatal injuries suffered by bicyclists involved in traffic accidents, there is currently no federal law requiring bicyclists of any age to wear head protection while riding. Likewise, Texas does not impose any requirements or restrictions on bicyclists of any age concerning the use of helmets, unlike several other states that have put rules of this nature in place.
Importantly, though, some cities and counties in Texas—Fort Worth among them—have established head gear regulations that go further than state or federal law. Specifically, bicycle riders in Fort Worth are required by municipal law to wear helmets if they are under 18 years old. Texas Government Code §662.105 also makes April “Child Safety Month” across the Lone Star State, the purpose of which is partially to promote the use of bike helmets among minors statewide.
What Effect Can Helmets Have on a Bike Accident Claim?
Even though no adult bicycle riders in Fort Worth are legally required to wear bicycle helmets, not wearing one can still significantly affect their legal right to demand civil compensation after a bike accident caused by someone else. This effect comes from the “modified comparative fault” system codified under Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §§33.001 through 33.017, followed by civil courts all over the state.
Under this system, any person found partially responsible for causing their own injuries through careless or reckless conduct may be subject to a proportional reduction in their recoverable damages—or even to being denied compensation altogether—based on their share of “total fault” for those injuries.
Since wearing a bicycle helmet is statistically proven to lessen the risk of head injuries while riding a bike, someone who sustains head trauma while riding without a helmet may be partially to blame for their own injuries, even if someone else was entirely at fault for the accident.
A Seasoned Attorney Could Explain Fort Worth Bicycle Helmet Laws in More Detail
You are not required to wear a helmet while riding a bike anywhere in Texas if you are an adult, and local restrictions in Fort Worth only apply if you are under 18. That said, you should still wear head protection while riding to protect yourself physically and legally.
Anyone with further questions about Fort Worth bicycle helmet laws can get answers from a conversation with a knowledgeable bicycle accident lawyer. Call today to schedule a meeting.