When you are a motorcyclist there are lots of things to be mindful of in order to remain safe. Whether you’re a novice or a veteran rider, there are four important road laws that you must remember while you’re riding. Many of the laws have been put into place to ensure the safety of both motorcyclists, pedestrians and car drivers. Laws will differ not only from state to state but even from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. Being familiar with some of them can save you a lot of headaches and maybe from paying fines too.
Always wear a helmet. This has to be the most universal of all motorcycle laws, regardless of where you live. Your head is the most vulnerable part of your body when you’re riding a motorcycle, so having the proper protection is important. When you are riding there is nothing between you and the road, so you have to put barriers in place to reduce the likelihood of head injury. Both you and your passenger should wear helmets, whether you’re taking a long ride or just a trip around the corner. Some states require that helmets meet Department of Transportation standards, while others leave the choice of the helmet to the rider. Should an injury occur with the use of a helmet according to state laws, you may not be liable.
Don’t Drink and Ride
Being drunk and operating a vehicle is never a good idea, regardless of the type of vehicle.
A blood alcohol level over .08 for motorcyclists over the age of 21 makes you impaired under the law in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs puts more than just yourself at risk. If you are injured as a result of a drunk driver, consult an attorney so that you can take the proper steps to be compensated.
Sound ordinances will vary from state to state, neighbourhood to neighbourhood. If you have a muffler that has been modified to be louder than the manufacturer intended, you may be breaking the law. If your exhausts register louder than a certain volume in some jurisdictions, you are likely to draw attention from law enforcement, so take notice of sound and muffler regulations.
More than half of US states require eye protection. These laws vary according to the age of the rider or the absence of or height of a windshield. Some states do not have laws governing protective eyewear, but protecting your eyes isn’t such a bad idea. Your eyes are subject to wind, insects, road debris and more, and you need your eyes to be in good condition for a safe ride.
Now that you know these four important laws for motorcyclists, you will be better prepared to safely hit the road. If you are interested in finding out more about road laws in your area, the American Motorcyclist Association has the laws organized by state. Remember, just because you are ignorant of certain laws doesn’t mean that you will not be held accountable under the law. And should you be looking for more information on motorcycle safety, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation has lots of great resources.