Riding a motorcycle is a freeing experience—nothing but the bike is separating you from the road, and the air is whipping all around your body. Compared to a regular motor vehicle, you are more exposed to the elements while on a motorcycle. This is why there are motorcycle helmet laws to keep you as safe as possible while on your motorbike.
Even if you’re wearing a helmet, motorcycle accidents can be dangerous and cause serious damage to your body and bike. When someone else’s negligence has caused a collision with your motorcycle, you could use the help of one of our lawyers. At DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, our motorcycle accident lawyers are here to help you through your claim and get you justice.
West Virginia Motorcycle Helmet Laws
West Virginia has some of the most comprehensive motorcycle helmet laws in the country. According to state code, anybody riding a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle must wear a helmet that is securely fastened by a neck or chin strap. Both drivers and passengers must follow this rule no matter their level of experience. The helmet must be designed to deflect blows and penetration and spread impact forces across the surface.
All helmets must meet the safety requirements of at least one of these three safety authorities:
- American National Standards Institute Standard Z 90.1
- United States Department of Transportation Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218
- Snell Safety Standards for Protective Headgear for Vehicle Users
In general, these standards mandate that the helmet sits atop the head, not falling backwards, forward, or to the side, and protects the wearer from most impacts. Other requirements include labeling, identification, and Department of Transportation (DOT) symbol to indicate the helmet follows all regulations.
On top of a helmet, all passengers on a motorized bike of any kind must be wearing safety glasses that are shatter resistant. If a helmet has a visor or the riders are wearing goggles, they must also be shatter-resistant and follow the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
Other Important Motorcycle Laws
While wearing a helmet is an important part of riding a motorcycle, there are some other laws in West Virginia code that are important to know before getting on a motorbike. Here are some of the most prevalent laws that you should follow:
- Motorcycle handlebars or grips cannot be more than 15 inches higher than the uppermost part of the bike’s seat.
- The driver of a motorcycle must be seated forward and on a seat that is permanently fixed to the vehicle.
- A passenger may only ride if there are the appropriate number of legitimate seats on the bike, and no passenger may ride side saddle.
- A motorcycle can only carry as many passengers as there are footrests for.
- Sidecars must be factory-made and hold one person who must wear a seatbelt.
- Every motorcycle must have a rearview mirror that is attached to the handlebars.
- The driver must have a valid motorcycle license.
Although these rules may seem extensive to ride a motorcycle, they’re necessary to ensure that motorcyclists and their passengers are as safe as possible on the road. Motorbikes are inherently more dangerous than regular motor vehicles because more of the body is directly exposed in a collision. That’s why laws exist to keep motorcyclists safe in case they are in an accident.
Our Lawyers Can Help You
When you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, you could be suffering from serious injuries and other damages that weren’t your fault. Someone else’s negligence can cause you severe harm when you’re on a motorcycle, and when that happens, you likely will want them to pay for the damage they’ve done. That’s where we come in.
A motorcycle accident lawyer from DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC can help you recover the financial costs that another driver has caused you. We will work tirelessly to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, repair costs, lost wages, and more. Reach out to our office today to find out how we can help you.