Category Archives: Biking Laws

North Carolina’s Attempt To Repeal Helmet Law Fails

helmet

All across the nation, motorcycle helmet laws are highly debated and contested.  There will always be riders who prefer to not wear a helmet and there will always be people fighting for biking safety.  In my opinion, helmets should be required everywhere but I totally understand the other point of view.  There was recently an attempt in North Carolina to repeal the current motorcycle helmet law in place, but it is being reported that it has failed.   “As far as we’re concerned, it boils down to a matter of freedom of choice,” Boone said. “We try to present an honest picture of it, and that’s what we’re going to do, period. We’ll be back here every year until we get this.”

Motorcycle Safety and Maintainence

safety

Motorcycles are thrilling centers of the two wheeled world with an ever increasing growth market. From offering us safe transportation to the thrills of the race tracks, there is no limit of the extent to which these machines are become part of our lives. It is therefore quite important to ensure that we always stay safe and take all the needed precautions. This should be done both on track and off track and covers everything, from the simple maintenance to riding and safe parking of bikes.

When that moment comes for you to ride your bike remember that you are in control of it and ride it well. Accelerate smoothly and steadily observing all traffic rules and leave stunts for the stunt masters, unless you are one. Safe parking of the bikes is something most of us always overlook. After finding that safe space for parking the bike, ensure that it is is left in a position such that the gear tire is against the curb. To avoid the frustration of finding your motorbike toppled, it is important for you to know how to park a motorcycle on a hill. In such a case, the bike should be placed with the front tire being closely near the curb. While doing this, the bike should be left while on gear and positioned at an angle of about 45 degrees from the curb to ensure stability. Patience is important in doing this as getting the best position of stability may be tasking.

According to the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle accidents are 35 times more fatal compared to other accidents. As a general rule, before riding a bike ensure that you have protective gear and helmet on since most reports of crashes indicate a high risk of injuries to the head.  Any attorney who deals with vehicle accidents can tell you that wearing helmet is the most important thing you can do to save yourself when riding.  Apart from providing protection, helmets also help create a streamline effect ensuring more efficiency while limiting vision interference.

Always ensure that the motorcycle is well serviced and is used doing this, as a rule of thumb, do stick to the manufacturers manual. Take time to study it and understand your bike for the manual was written and dedicated to you. Factory engineers do specify on the recommended service stations from which to buy spare parts from and there are important to stick to. Manuals also contain information on the parts that need replacement after some time such as the break pads. In general, bikes should be given frequent regular maintenance checks on things like lubrication and battery water levels. There are small checks that an experienced biker can do on their own but that which is you are not conversant should be left for the specialists. Some motorcycle manufactures offer free service clinics that may help greatly in cutting down on service costs. Make sure that you check on the manufacturers official websites for such notifications and other useful updates. Taking good care of your bike helps give you a smooth riding experience and increases the motorcycle’s durability.

Looking To Get Motorcycle Insurance?

insurance

Are you looking to get motorcycle insurance? If the answer is yes and it happens to be your first time to apply for such a thing, it can get very confusing.  As you can imagine, serious brain injuries and other life threatening injuries are much more likely when riding in a motorcycle.  After all, unlike several decades ago when motorcycle insurance was very limited, you have more insurance options these days. It is a given that you will want to save as much money as possible and yet you will still want the best insurance. Below, you will find a list of factors that will have a direct effect on the rates you will be given by the insurance companies.

The Value of Your Bike

Do you know that the value of the motorcycle you choose to get has an effect on the insurance quote you will be given? As a matter of fact, the value if your bike is one of the main factors insurance companies consider when they come up with your insurance quote. Should you choose to get one of the newest models complete with performance upgrades, the quotes you get will be more expensive. However, should you choose an older bike, most insurance companies ought to charge you lower insurance premiums.

Your Driving Record

If you have very recently made the transition to riding bikes yet you have been driving a car for years, this will have very little bearing on the motorcycle insurance rates you are given. It does not matter if you have been driving cars for the past 20 years because of your motorcycle license is brand new, you are an inexperienced driver in the eyes of the insurance companies. Given time however, the rates they offer you ought to drop dramatically.

The Lifestyle You Lead

Insurance companies are very thorough and will look into the kind of lifestyle you lead help them determine the rates to offer you. They will even look closely at where you live and where you work. If it happens that either of those two areas happens to be high risk with high instances if crime, you can bet your motorcycle insurance will cost more money. Why, even the kind of work you do will have an effect on the rates they give you. If you happen to work in construction and your bike is parked out in the open on a daily basis, you will pay more for your insurance but an office worker that parks his bike in a secured area will be offered lower rates.

Getting Discounts

While different factors will raise or lower the insurance rates you get, you can also find ways to get additional discounts on your motorcycle insurance rates.

– If you have more than one motorcycle to insure, get your insurance from the same company so you receive discounted rates.
-Some companies have discounts for certain motorcycle riding associations so if you are looking to join one, ask around about insurance companies they have ties with.
-If you are an experienced rider and are older, you receive major discounts on your motorcycle insurance.
-By transferring your insurance policy to a new company, you get to enjoy discounted rates.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws – What You Need to Know

bike-helmet

For this post, I had a colleague of mine from The Clark Law Office look it over and add some suggestions.  We decided to give a brief history about helmet laws to start off with…..  Motorcycle helmet laws are characterized as being in a constant state of flux.   Since motorcycle injuries are so severe, this issue is highly contested and debated. The first laws were implemented in 1967 by the federal government which placed mandates on states to institute helmet use laws. There is ongoing discussion about whether or not helmet laws are necessary or effective. Proponents of the laws feel that helmets save lives whereas opponents of the laws feel that they can lead to an increase in injury and a decrease in visibility. At the current time there are only 19 states that have universal helmet laws that cover all riders with no age restrictions.

The history of helmet laws dates back to the 1960’s and there have been changes and repeals of the laws over the years. Congress has placed sanctions on states with no helmet laws, only to overturn those restrictions. Most recently, the laws in place in the early 1990’s were lifted by Congress in 1995. At that time, sanctions and incentives were ceased and states were given the freedom to repeal motorcycle helmet laws. Many states took advantage of that freedom, but kept helmet mandates in place for younger riders. The only states without any helmet laws are New Hampshire, Illinois and Iowa. Maps are available online that specify which regulations are in effect in which states so that interstate motorcyclists can have the most up to date information for their travels.

This can all be very confusing and the debate on the issue is as heated as ever. There is a lot of information that suggests that universal helmet laws not only increase helmet use, but that motorcycle related deaths and serious injuries are much lower in states with mandated helmet regulations. Proponents of the restrictions also claim that helmet use translates into billions in economic savings in states with universal laws. A large portion of this savings is purportedly related to health care costs for head injuries related to motorcycle accidents.

Of course there is another side to the debate. Many people feel that universal regulations are unconstitutional and that they restrict the freedom of the rider. Another argument relates to the fact that at high rates of speed, a helmet is not likely to save someone’s life. Those against the restrictions argue that the only person harmed by not wearing a helmet is the rider himself. They do not feel that it is a public health issue that the government needs to concern themselves with.

Motorcycle helmet laws are likely to continue to be under debate, and on both sides of the argument, there are boisterous advocates. However, we live in a country where many personal freedoms are regulated and these regulations are likely to change again. When compared with mandatory seat belt laws which exist in every state but New Hampshire, helmet mandates seem to be lenient and in favor of freedom of choice. It is unclear where this argument will eventually lead, but to be sure, it will continue. In the meantime, motorcyclists are well advised to know that the laws change from state to state and to be aware of what they are.