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Motorcycle laws riders should know

There is nothing like taking to the open road. However, when sharing that road with other motorists, it is important to take proper precautions.

While the rules and regulations of the road cannot completely abolish all auto accidents, they may help to decrease the overall number. Therefore, it is important to know and abide by the laws that do apply to motorcyclists.

Traffic laws

Bikers are motorists, and as such they must follow the same laws as other drivers. By the same token, bikers may face penalties if they do not follow the laws of the state. It is also important to note that bikers must follow the same laws and requirements in regard to insurance and filing accident claims.

Proper equipment

Considering that bikers are more exposed than other motorists, there is specific clothing required for protection. Motorcycle riders must wear helmets under the Universal Helmet Law, and they must wear gear that protects their bodies, including their eyes and face. There is also required equipment that bikers must have on the motorcycle itself. Some of the main equipment pieces include:

  • Windshield or a form of face shield
  • Headlights, tail lights, brake lights and license plate lights
  • Handlebars at proper hight
  • Footpegs for driver and passengers
  • Electric or fuel motor with muffler

While many of the equipment requirements are universal, some are specific to motorcyclists, and others are specific to those motorcycles built before or after a certain date. Knowing which requirements apply to a biker's motorcycle is key.

Along with abiding by the laws, motorists should also be defensive riders. Keeping an eye out for the negligent or unlawful acts of others may help to avoid accidents as well; however, at times when an accident is inevitable, a party knowing and being able to show he or she followed the law may aid in filing a successful accident claim. 

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