Top 10 Motorcycle Safety Laws in California
What are the top 10 motorcycle safety laws in California? As a California biker’s rights and safety advocate attorney, I thought I would explore this topic. Experiencing California via motorcycle is a great way to explore all that this great state has to offer. When it comes to safety on the open road, knowledge is key. In fact, being informed of and adhering to state laws and regulations can mean the difference between life or death. If you’re planning on cruising in the Golden State, here’s a quick look at its top 10 motorcycle safety laws.
- Helmets: According to Section 27803 of California’s Vehicle Code, both driver and passenger are required by law to wear a helmet at all times during the operation of the vehicle.
- Headlights: Unless the vehicle was manufactured before 1978, drivers must use a daytime headlight to increase their visibility in traffic. Regardless of the model year, headlights are mandatory after sunset.
- Handlebars: The height of the vehicle’s handlebars can be no more than six inches above the height of the driver’s shoulders when seated.
- Lane Splitting: As determined by the Highway Patrol, a two-wheeled vehicle may travel between lanes when the adjacent vehicles are traveling in the same direction.
- Safety Course: All riders under the age of 21 must complete the California Highway Patrol’s Basic Rider Course and provide their certificate of completion. Riders 21 and older are encouraged to take the safety course, but they may complete a skills test to be exempt from the class. For even more safety tips, the CHP offers the Premier Program, which consists of additional classroom and on-cycle hours.
- Earplugs: For the purpose of protecting against damaging noise levels, riders are permitted to wear earplugs as long as he or she can hear the horns or sirens of other vehicles.
- Safety Equipment: At least one mirror is required at the vehicle’s left or right side. An appropriate muffler is mandatory, and it cannot contain a bypass, cutout or related device. Working turn signals are also required by law.
- Passenger Regulations: A driver may only carry a passenger if there is proper seating at the rear or an attached side car that was built to accommodate passengers. Footrests must be provided for all riders, and they are required to rest their feet on them when the vehicle is in motion.
- Licensing: Depending on their type of motorized vehicle, all drivers must possess either an M1 or M2 license. Drivers must first be issued a permit to practice for the driving test, and riders 18 years and under must hold their permit for six months before obtaining a license.
- Towing: Any motorized vehicle pulling a trailer must remain at speeds lower than 55 MPH. It is unlawful to drive in carpool lanes, and on a four-lane highway, the vehicle must stay in the right two lanes or in the far right lane on a two-lane stretch.
While no more common than other vehicle accidents, motorized vehicle crashes are more likely to be serious or fatal. Accounting for more than half of all motorcycle-related deaths, crashes with other vehicles most often occur from the front. However, the condition that is most conducive to a dangerous collision is when surrounding cars are turning left. In most cases, the vehicle turning left is at fault, but if the motorcyclist was using the wrong lane or speeding, they may receive little to no compensation for damages or injuries. As for other types of accidents, serious injuries and death can occur through colliding with inanimate objects, speeding, not wearing a helmet and encountering various road hazards.Contact a California Motorcycle Accident Attorney After any Crash Caused by Negligence of a Motor Vehicle Operator
Even if you comply with all safety laws and regulations and ride safe and defensively, many bikers in CA every year are injured or killed due to negligent operation of motor vehicles by other drivers. A well-educated and trained attorney familiar with motorcycle accidents can help you recover compensation for such damages or injuries. If you or a family member has suffered an injury or fatality caused by driver negligence, contact a California motorcycle accident attorney today.