Motorcycle Laws: Two Wheels of Freedom, Right?

The warmer weather seems to be intoxicating for Californians. There’s something about feeling the wind through your hair as you cruise down back roads and take in the views. While some are satisfied with a hand out the window or the top down, others may prefer two wheels. A beautiful day in California will bring out motorcyclist. It may be super relaxing, but it can be dangerous if you’re not careful.

Motorcyclists have to obey the same laws that other drivers need to and then some. They have to be extra careful when riding a motorcycle because they are not protected by anything other than the clothes on their backs. When they get into an accident, they don’t have airbags or seatbelts to keep them safe.

Motorcyclists need to drive as if no one can see them. Motorcycles are smaller than cars, thus are easy to miss. Riders need to be aware of blind spots on other cars and semis. They also need to be aware of their own blind spots. Being aware of this allows motorcyclists to successfully lane split, which is where a motorcyclist shares the lane with another vehicle. Typically lane splitting happens when there is heavy traffic. Lane splitting isn’t allowed nationwide, but it is allowed in California as long as it is executed safely.

If you’re driving around at night you need to be cautious in general, but if you’re a motorcyclist, you need to be extra cautious. Motorcycles don’t have big lights, and they aren’t very visible at night. Motorcycles are required by California law to have brake lights and turn signals as well as a headlight. However, they still aren’t very noticeable. Motorcyclists should be aware of this, and exercise safe riding behaviors such as flashing their brake light when they are coming to a stop.

While getting your regular driver’s license is easy, obtaining your motorcycle license is a bit more complicated. California law requires everyone to participate in several motorcycle safety classes in order to get their motorcycle license. This is meant to make the roads safer for all motorists.

The California air flying through your hair is extremely freeing and relaxing. However, we still need to aware of the laws around us.