In Texas, a law states that a driver with an open container of alcohol in their vehicle must wear a helmet when operating the vehicle.
This law is implemented to make it easier for officers to cite drivers for driving under the influence. However, this new law might have created more problems than it solved.
The 5 Unknown Problems with The Texas Helmet Law
1. Every Helmet Law is Not Equal
There is a vast difference between the laws in Kansas and Texas.
The Kansas helmet law, which took effect on June 1, 2008, states that drivers must have a helmet on their head when they are over 21. There is no age requirement under this law.
On the other hand, Texas law states that every driver must wear a helmet when operating their bike, even if they are under 21 years of age.
2. It Doesn't Measure Up to Other States
The main problem with wearing a helmet when driving in Texas is that it doesn't prove you're 21 years old.
Most other states with a helmet law require you to be at least 18 years old to drive with a helmet or face fines, penalties, and possibly jail time if caught without one.
An article regarding the Arizona helmet law stated, "If all the drivers in Arizona were law-abiding citizens, then there would be no need for this law.”
3. It's Not Always a Good Idea
When you wear a helmet on your head, it doesn't always provide the most effective protection. It could be because your helmet might not have been designed for your specific activity, or sweating while wearing it could cause it to loosen. Plus, if you are a motorcycle rider, the problem is even more complicated.
While you might think that wearing a helmet when driving is one way to protect yourself from getting hurt, it is not always the case.
4. It's Not Always Effective
The law states that you must wear a helmet when operating your bike, but this doesn't mean that it will always protect you in the event of an accident.
Some studies have shown that wearing a helmet during an accident can increase the chances of suffering brain injuries.
In 2001, the State Bar of Arizona studied helmet laws and found that the risks are significant and outweigh any benefits.
While wearing a helmet is essential for specific activities like skiing, biking, or horseback riding, it is not always recommended for other reasons.
5. There are Limits on the Laws
Although the helmet laws can help police during a traffic stop, some limitations make it more difficult for them to issue citations.
In addition, even if an officer has probable cause to believe that you're operating your vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, they have no way of proving exactly how much alcohol was in your system at the stop.
While wearing a helmet when driving is a good idea, the Texas law might not be the best way to enforce it. It is because certain factors make it difficult for police to see whether or not you are wearing your helmet.
The law is also very limiting in that it doesn't consider people who may have an exception from their parents or guardians.
A better solution to this problem would be to focus on ensuring everyone has a valid driver's license, and no one is driving with an open container of alcohol. Get to know the motorcycle accident laws to stay safe on the road.