Despite the good news that fatal accidents on the motorcycle train in recent years, motorcycle riders still represent a disproportionate share of traffic accidents. May motorcycle safety awareness month is a good time for riders and those who share the road with motorcyclists to double the safety when we are all ready for the warmer weather and summer traffic. Here is a guide to important information that you need to be prepared and to drive safely, as well as to follow the license, insurance and other legal requirements.
If you drive your motorcycle on public roads, you must register it with your competent authority and must have a license to run it.
AAA Digest of State Motor Laws ̵
State (19659006) Motorcycle Insurance
Most states require you to carry at least one insurance cover – Florida, Montana and Washington is an exception. The states that require insurance vary depending on coverage requirements. Most require a liability insurance that covers bodily injury and property damage.
Whether or not it is needed, we think it is quite risky to go without coverage. Should an accident occur that leads to injury or property damage, without insurance, you are on the hook. In fact, it is generally worth looking at extending your coverage beyond the lowest. Alternatives to consider are extensive and collision, which would cover other potential losses, such as compensation if your bike was stolen or damaged. In some states, insurance is required without insurance in others, you may need to have a specific coverage for passengers.
Motorcycle owners sometimes ask if they can cancel insurance in the winter when they are not riding but it can be risky and leave you vulnerable if the bike is stolen. Some insurers offer winter optimization insurance options.
Talk to your independent insurance agent, who can recommend the best coverage for your local requirements and your particular circumstances. Be sure to ask if there are any discounts that you can qualify for, for example, to combine multiple policies, to be a safe driver, to participate in training or other circumstances.
For more information, see the Insurance Information Institute (III): Finding the right coverage for your bike
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation is a valuable resource. It is a non-profit resource that is internationally recognized for a comprehensive research-based, Riders Education and Training System (RETS), which promotes lifelong learning for motorcyclists and ongoing professional development for certified trainers and trainers. MSF also participates actively in government relations, security research and public awareness campaigns.
Check for available exercises and download their popular guide, You and your motorcycle: Riding tips. Check out their other guides for tricycles, scooters, off-road riding and more.
III: Background to: Motorcycle accidents
NHTSA: Motorcycle protection
Choose the right helmet – how to find the right fit for safety
Helmet safety rating – Make sure the helmet has the DOT symbol on the outside. This means that it meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 218.
Tire Manual for the Motorcycle Industry Council
NHTSA: Safety Issues and Withdrawals – Search by VIN
How to Prepare Your Motorcycle for the Spring
] Consumer Reports: Motorcycle Buying Guide & Ratings
Motorcycle Club List