All drivers need to know, and follow, the right laws and regulations to ensure not only their safety, but the safety of others on the road. This is important for all vehicles, including motorcycles.
Motorcyclists need to be extra careful while driving because they’re more exposed than drivers in cars and trucks. So what should motorcyclists know about California laws and safety tips?
California motorcycle laws
The first thing California residents should know about motorcycle laws is that you must have a motorcycle license in order to drive a motorcycle. People 16 years old and over need to first have a driving permit, complete a driver’s education course, and then complete a motorcycle training course. After that, they have to fill out a license application and pay the fee before obtaining their license.
Once a license has been obtained, motorcyclists are free to drive on the roads. Motorcyclists have to follow the normal California driving laws: they must adhere to speed limits, stop at red lights and stop signs, and use their turn signals.
Additionally, they must follow other vehicles at a safe distance. Unfortunately, the main causes of motorcycle accidents include following too closely (whether it’s a motorcycle following a car too closely or vice versa) and cars turning into motorcycles because they weren’t seen.
If a motorcyclist is in an accident, they should always contact a reputable motorcycle accident attorney in Orange County. Hiring an attorney is important because lawyers have the experience needed to help motorcyclists build the best case possible. Whether they were at fault or were a victim, motorcyclists need professional legal help when dealing with personal injury cases.
Lane sharing, which is where two motorcycles ride side-by-side in the same lane, is allowed in California. However, it isn’t always considered safe, especially on narrow roads. So while lane sharing can give motorcyclists more freedom of movement, riders should always be mindful of the space between them and the vehicles around them.
Motorcycle safety tips
Motorcyclists in California are required by law to wear a helmet while on the road. Seeing as how 80 percent of motorcycle crashes end in serious injury or death, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, having the proper safety gear on is essential. California’s helmet law is in place to protect both operators and passengers on motorcycles.
So before anyone gets on a motorcycle, they should ensure they have a helmet on. Investing in a high-quality brand like HJC helmets will improve safety. When someone buys or puts on a helmet, they should make sure it fits properly, has sufficient padding, and is strapped in place as needed.
Along with a good helmet, motorcyclists should consider investing in other safety gear. While a helmet is the only gear required by law, motorcyclists can benefit from wearing boots, gloves, and leather clothing. Additionally, reflective tape on helmets and jackets can improve other drivers’ visibility regarding motorcyclists.
When motorcyclists are getting ready to go for a ride, they should always check their headlights and taillights, do a quick inspection of their tires, and make sure their brakes are in good condition. Just like with any vehicle, motorcyclists should always ride alert and defensively. Because motorcyclists are much more exposed than other drivers, they need to drive cautiously and use their best judgement to avoid getting in an accident.
Driving a motorcycle can be fun and convenient, especially in a sunny and populated state like California. But it’s important for riders to be aware of state laws regarding motorcycles and keep safety considerations in mind to ensure they’re keeping themselves and others safe while on the road.