CA State Laws
Before you get on a motorcycle, you need to know state laws. Every state has slightly different regulations for motorcyclists. These laws can keep you safe, but they also serve another purpose. If you are in an accident, and you knew and were following the rules of the road, it will be easier to prove another party’s responsibility in the event of injury and an accident claim. Here is what you need to know.
Operating features of motorcycles on the road include:
- Any motorcycle manufactured in or after 1978 must use their headlight during the day and at night.
- Eye protection. You are not required to wear eye protection.
- You can wear earplugs or other devices that muffle noise as long as they also permit you to hear a horn or siren.
- Helmet speakers. You can only have an earphone in one ear.
- Handlebar height. Handlebars cannot be higher than 6 inches above your shoulders while seated.
- Passenger seat and foot rest. Required only if you are carrying a passenger.
- Turn signals. Required.
If you are interested in driving a motorcycle in California and you do not have a motorcycle endorsement from another state, apply for an M1 or an M2 license. An M1 license allows you to operate any motorized two-wheeled vehicle, while an M2 license only permits you to operate a moped, motorized bicycle, or a scooter.
You will need to visit the local DMV office, complete the application, and pass a written test as well as a motorcycle skills test. You will be provided with a learner’s permit to practice before the skills test, and the DMV will supply you with all the information you need to secure your licensing endorsement. Out-of-state drivers need to have licensing endorsements from another state as well as proof of insurance.
Rules of the Road
Most motorcycle driving laws are similar to the laws you use as a vehicle driver. There are a few differences. For instance, lane splitting is legal in California. Lane splitting is when motorcyclists drive in between lanes of traffic. Even though the practice enhances the motorcyclist experience and prevents them from becoming fatigued in stop-and-go traffic, it is also dangerous. Be cautious when riding in between vehicles that may not be paying attention.
As a motorcyclist, you will have access to the HOV lanes. Remember not to cross double parallel lines while travelling in the lane. If you tow a trailer, do not use the HOV lane, do not exceed 55 mph, and always drive in the right lane. Try to give other vehicles more clearance at all times to allow for last-minute maneuvers to avoid an accident.
Insurance Laws and Coverage Options
Every motorcycle is required to carry liability insurance in California. The state minimum requires $15,000 worth of coverage per individual as well as $30,000 per accident. Since motorcycle accidents are typically more serious, more coverage is advisable. Having uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can be instrumental in helping you pay for injury costs after an accident.
Getting Into an Accident
After you have reported the incident and received medical assistance, reach out to the BD&J Law Firm. We specialize in motorcycle accident cases. Our attorneys offer free initial consultations, and we never charge clients unless we recover damages on their behalf.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident, our legal assistance can help you recover medical expenses, lost income, and more so you can focus on recovery. Contact us today at our office today at (800) 820-1111 for more information.