Millions of people across the globe own motorcycles. In the United States alone, the Department of Transportation reported more than 8 million registered motorcycles in 2011. Most motorcycle riders know the common rules that show up on the exams, but they aren’t aware of the less common rules. Here are five motorcycle laws that all riders should know to stay safe:
- Avoid Distractions of Phone or Music
While it is legal to listen to music, it is wise to only cover one ear with a headphone, or use one earbud. You must leave one ear free so that you can hear other vehicles, or other drivers honking. This law is for your protection and the protection of other people on the road.In addition it’s important not to handle a cell phone or MP3 device while riding. Distracted driving is unsafe driving.
- Daytime Headlights are Required
As a cautious motorcycle rider, you must be mindful of the daytime headlight ordinances. Daytime headlights are required, not recommended. They are not an optional item that you can choose to ignore, as you will receive a ticket if you do not obey local laws.
- Park Your Bike at an Angle
Many riders are unaware that by law, motorcycles cannot simply be parallel parked. When a motorcycle is parked adjacent to a curb, the back wheel must be against the curb. Parking incorrectly is an easy way to get a ticket, or even towed.
- Avoid Weaving
Weaving, or moving in and out of lanes, is a traffic violation for motorcyclists in many states. Furthermore, it may cause the police to evaluate you for drunk driving. If they find that your blood alcohol level is more than .08 percent, they will serve you a ticket for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). If they do not find that you have alcohol in your system, you will still receive a citation for your uncontrolled weaving. This type of riding can be dangerous for motorcyclists and other cars on the road. As a rider, you should remember that cars may not see you as easily as you see them.
- High H-Bars Have Limits
Many motorcyclists love to spruce their motorcycles up and make them unique. One of the things that many riders like to do is raise their handle bars. Unfortunately, many state laws restrict the handlebar height to no more than 6 inches above the shoulders.
Lane Splitting Is Under Review
Although it’s not illegal, lane splitting and driving in between two cars is frowned upon. However, it may become a permitted action soon. Some states are working on legislation to make lane splitting legal. Some safety stipulations will be in place, of course, if these laws pass. Stay up to date on local laws, contact your Department of Motor Vehicles if you are unsure.
If you are one of the millions of American motorcycle riders, you may already know how important it can be to your safety to adhere to traffic laws. Despite your adherence to laws and safety rules, the negligence of other drivers is always a risk. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact a Naperville IL car accident lawyer today for a consultation. An attorney may help you protect your finances, your freedom and your future.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian for their insight into five laws to stay safe of motorcycles.