Cars and trucks pose a serious threat to motorcycles because bikes are significantly lighter and are not manufactured with the same safety features as passenger vehicles. For this reason, bikers are much more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries in a motorcycle accident.
WHAT ARE TENNESSEE MOTORCYCLE SAFETY EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS?
Although motorcycle accidents are on the rise, the State of Tennessee is taking active measures to ensure that bikers stay safe. Tennessee has instituted motorcycle safety equipment requirements to help prevent or limit injuries to motorcyclists involved in serious crashes.
WHAT ARE THE BASIC MOTORCYCLE SAFETY REQUIREMENTS IN TENNESSEE?
According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, motorcycles must have the following essential safety features:
- Headlights, taillights, and brake lights
- Turn signals
- Front and rear brakes
- Left and right mirrors
- Safety goggles (if there is no windshield)
- Headlamp that maintains visibility 300 feet ahead
You are not allowed to carry a passenger on your motorcycle without a proper seat that has been installed for passengers. There should be securely attached footrests not only for the rider, but also for the passenger.
It is also important to inspect your motorcycle before you ride to ensure that all safety equipment is working properly. You should check tires and wheels, oils and fluids, lights, chassis, and stands.
WHAT ARE THE TENNESSEE MOTORCYCLE HELMET LAWS?
Both riders and passengers are required to wear a motorcycle helmet when riding. One exception includes bikers 21 and older who are operating a motorcycle during a funeral procession, memorial ride with a police escort, or body escort detail provided that they do not exceed 30 miles per hour or a distance of 50 miles. Any individuals riding within an enclosed cab are also exempt.
A helmet should meet the federal safety standards and the State of Tennessee requirements. For riders who are over the age of 21, the helmet should:
- Have ventilation airways that do not exceed 1½ inches in diameter
- Be free of rigid projections inside its shell and only include projections outside the protective shell that are required for the operation of essential accessories
- Fit securely around your head, but is not required to be a continuous contour
- Have a label on it that says it complies with the requirements of the Southern Impact Research Center, the American Society for Testing Materials, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, or the Snell Foundation
For those who are under 21 years old, the guidelines are more strict. Certain allowances mentioned above such as ventilation airways that penetrate through the shell of the helmet and a non-continuous contour do not apply.
OTHER IMPORTANT MOTORCYCLE SAFETY GEAR IN TENNESSEE
If you are not wearing proper safety gear and are involved in a motorcycle crash, you could suffer serious injuries. Fractured or broken bones, road rash, deep cuts, loss of limbs, scarring, and disfigurement are common injuries in motorcycle crashes. The following is a list of protective clothing you should wear to keep safe on the road.
- Riding Gloves: If you are knocked off your bike in a crash, you will probably extend your hands to protect yourself. Riding gloves can help protect your hands from skin damage, broken bones, or worse.
- Motorcycle Jacket: Not only will a jacket protect you against the weather, but it will protect you from injuries. If you slide along the pavement in an accident and you are not wearing a jacket, your skin could be scraped off, causing damage to muscles, bone, and nerves.
- Motorcycle Boots: It is a good idea to wear boots that are sturdy and have ankle protection. If you are wearing the wrong shoes, they could come off in an accident, leaving your feet and toes vulnerable.
- Motorcycle Pants: Motorcycle pants constructed out of good material will provide more protection than a pair of jeans. If you slide on the pavement during an accident, jeans may get shredded easily.
- Safety Goggles/Glasses: Dirt and road debris can get into your eyes and cause damage when riding. It is also wise to use special visors or glasses to block out the sun.
It is also imperative that you wear clothing that makes you visible and stand out, with bright colors or reflective strips. You want to be visible at all times so other drivers can see you.
CONTACT A TENNESSEE MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEY TODAY
If you are seriously hurt in a motorcycle crash, a negligent driver may be held liable for your injuries. You will not only be facing expensive medical bills for treatment, but you may lose income if you are forced to miss work due to your injuries. Because of the substantial losses and damages motorcycle accident victims face, you need to understand your rights and get legal help as soon as possible.
The Tennessee motorcycle accident attorneys at the Law Office of David E. Gordon can help you pursue compensation for injuries that you have suffered due to another driver’s carelessness or negligence. We will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your accident, analyze your case, and handle negotiations with the insurance companies for you. We will do whatever is necessary to demand a full and fair settlement for you.
Contact us today for a free consultation.