Motorcycling can be an awesome experience. It’s not like driving a car – you don’t just sit on a bike, you become a part of the machine. Taking smooth corners, feeling the rhythm of the road, and taking corners are exhilarating.
But with this freedom comes responsibility. To be as safe as possible, you need to be aware of not only the rules of the road but also motorcycle laws in general. The motorcycle accident attorneys with Sand Law want you to enjoy your ride, but we also want you to make it home safe and sound. If you’re ever in an accident that’s not your fault, we may be able to help. Contact us online or call 651-291-7263 for a free consultation.
Riders Over the Age of 18 Aren’t Required to Wear a Helmet
Whether you’re a first-time rider or you’ve been on a bike for years, you can go without a helmet if you’re older than 18. Is it advisable to do so? Definitely not. A good helmet is your most important piece of safety equipment. As long as it’s made of high-quality materials, it could save your life if you’re in an accident.
Why would someone want to get on a motorcycle without a helmet in the first place? One of the most common reasons is that they don’t believe a helmet will give them a full view of the road. But every good helmet will give you unlimited peripheral vision.
What Riders Need to Know About Lane Splitting
Just about everyone who’s been on a highway has seen it at one time or another. An impatient motorcyclist decides to “thread the needle,” so to speak, and maneuver between two vehicles in order to get some clean air. This is known as lane splitting – not only is it an incredibly dangerous move, it’s also against the law in Minnesota.
Lane splitting is flat-out reckless. Riders who do this are basically risking their lives just to get out of a traffic jam. Simply because they can. But there are a lot of ways this makes a rider even more vulnerable. The driver of a car, truck, or some other type of four-wheel vehicle could suddenly decide to move out of their lane. When this happens, they’ll typically have no idea a rider is trying to split lanes. You can very well picture what will happen next.
Motorcycles Must Be Insured and Registered
You not only have to have your bike insured, you also have to have it registered with the state. Once your registration tax is paid, you’ll receive a sticker you’ll need to put on your license plate. If you’re new to the state, you have 60 days to register your ride.
As far as motorcycle insurance is concerned, you have to at least carry liability insurance. While you’re not required by law to have uninsured motorist or no-fault injury coverage, it’s highly recommended. You should never skimp on bike insurance – riders are at a much higher risk of suffering an injury than other motorists. If you’re not properly covered, you could be facing years of financial misery if you’re hurt.
All Riders Must Be Licensed
This should be pretty obvious, but there are still motorcyclists who ride every day and don’t have a license. If you’re just starting out, you’ll need to obtain a motorcycle instruction permit. And you’ll need a valid driver’s license in order to get one.
You have to be able to pass a written knowledge test in order to get your permit. If you’re younger than 18, you also have to show proof that you’ve completed a rider training course approved by the state. When you get your permit, then you’ll have to not only wear a helmet, but also eye protection. You can’t ride on interstate highways, and you won’t be able to carry any passengers. You also can’t ride at night (from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before the sun comes up).
You’ll then need to have a motorcycle endorsement once your riding abilities have reached a certain level. Go to your nearest driver’s examination station and take a skills test. This involves four different exercises that will measure your response to different hazards, as well as your ability to control your bike.
Once you receive your endorsement, you’ll be free from the restrictions placed on permit-only riders.
How Will Breaking a Law Affect My Case?
It’s hard enough for motorcyclists to win their personal injury cases, even when they’re operating their bikes safely. Unfortunately, there’s still a bias against motorcyclists – insurance companies, the general public and even a lot of police officers generally assume that an accident involving a motorcycle is always the rider’s fault.
Obtaining compensation will be even more difficult in certain situations. For example, if you were lane splitting, not wearing a helmet, speeding, or breaking the law in some other manner. But even if that’s the case, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re to blame for the accident. That’s why it will be essential that you hire a skilled attorney as soon as possible once you’ve received the medical attention you need.
Contact an Attorney if You’re Involved in a Motorcycle Accident
Speaking of hiring an attorney, Sand Law has a team of motorcycle accident attorneys who have a long track record of success in these kinds of cases. We know all of the biases that bikers face, and we know how to overcome them. We’ll negotiate with insurance companies to make sure you obtain the compensation you deserve if your accident occurred due to someone else’s negligence.
However, if that offer isn’t forthcoming from the insurer, we’ll be well prepared to fight for your rights in a court of law.