Texas law does not require any bicyclist to wear a helmet to help prevent serious injury or death from a bicycle accident. However, there are some Texas cities — including Austin, Houston and Fort Worth — that do have mandatory bicycle helmet laws for children under the age of 18.
Whether it’s the law or not, bicycle helmets are always a good idea no matter where you are riding. Texas also does not have any state law when it comes to how much room a vehicle driver is required to give to a bicyclist on public roads. Again, there are some cities — Austin, San Antonio, El Paso and others — that mandate a 3-foot safety zone that drivers must observe when passing a bicyclist.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has developed a mandatory safety performance standard for bicycle helmets, and urges parents to:
- Purchase a helmet that meets the safety requirements of the American National Standards Institute, the Snell Memorial Foundation or the American Society for Testing and Materials.
- Make sure your child wears the helmet flat on top of the head, not tilted at an angle.
- Make sure the helmet fits snugly and does not limit a child’s field of vision.
- Make sure the helmet chinstrap is fastened securely.
- Discard a helmet that has already been involved in an accident or has been damaged in any other fashion.
In addition, parents should teach children the rules of the road when it comes to bicycling, including:
- Ride on the right with the flow of traffic
- Obey all traffic signals, signs and lane markings
- Yield to traffic and pedestrians
- Look all ways before making a turn
- Be alert and watch for parked cars where someone could open a door in your path
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, the experienced personal injury legal team at Roberts & Roberts is here to help with compassionate, aggressive representation. Please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.