Things You Should Know About Riding A Motorcycle in Texas


One of the best ways to prevent motorcycle accidents is to know the rules of the road and follow them. One of the biggies: Don't drink alcohol and hop on your bike. However, there are others that you might not be as aware of.

For example, did you know that:

  • To get a motorcycle license, you have to take a motorcycle operator's training course or pass an on-cycle test?
  • To pass the on-cycle test, you must demonstrate that you know how to accelerate, adjust your speed and position to the traffic around you; stop, turn and swerve quickly; brake and turn; see, be seen and communicate; make critical decisions and carry them out quickly?
  • You need a license for a motor scooter and must register it either as a moped or a motorcycle?
  • You must have the following lights on your motorcycle: tail light, rear reflector, stop lamp, license plate lamp, head lamp?
  • The law requires that all riders wear approved helmets. Riders 21 and older who have completed a Motorcycle Operator Training Court or show proof of having medical insurance are exempt from the regulation?
  • Motorcycle passengers must be at least five years old. If under 21, passengers must wear helmets. If over 21, a passenger may ride without a helmet if the driver is exempt from wearing a helmet (see above). To carry passengers, motorcycles must have permanent passenger seats?
  • Lane-splitting in Texas is neither prohibited nor permitted by law?

How Texas Compares With Other States

Finally, did you know that Texas has the second largest number of motorcycles of any state in the U.S.? But because Texas is a state with high population, the rate of motorcycle ownership is relatively low. States with the highest per capita motorcycle ownership are states with small populations: Iowa, New Hampshire and South Dakota, home of the annual Sturgis motorcycle rally.

There was a 6 percent increase in motorcycle deaths in Texas between 2012 and 2013, according to the Governors' Highway Safety Association. This is contrary to the national trend that showed motorcycle fatalities on the decline between 2012 and 2013 across the U.S., according to the Insurance Information Institute.

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