Washington DC Motorcycle Laws

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Riding a motorcycle can be a lot of fun and help you save gas money. However, motorcycle accidents have severe consequences. Motorcycle accident victims often suffer from severe injuries. Although protective gear such as helmets and eye protection is required in DC, motorcyclists have little protection from other vehicles on the road.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. today. We help injured accident victims get the compensation they deserve for their injuries.

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Motorcycles Under DC Law

In Washington DC, motorcycles are defined as two or three-wheel motor vehicles with a seat or saddle for use by the operator, an attached motor, and the ability to travel over 35 mph. A tractor, motorized bicycle, and motor-driven cycle are not considered motorcycles under DC law unless their maximum speed is over 30 mph.

Motorcycle License Requirements

District of Columbia DMV guidelines state that anyone operating a motorcycle must have a valid driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement or a motorcycle instruction permit. You must be 18 years old or older to obtain the license or permit. You must also pass the DC DMV motorcycle knowledge test or prove you have completed a motorcycle demonstration course in DC, Maryland, or Virginia within the last six months.

Alternatively, completing an approved motorcycle safety course waives the skills test and written exam requirements.

Basic Rules of the Road

Motorcycle riders must obey all the same traffic laws as other vehicles on the road. That means coming to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs, yielding the right-of-way when appropriate, and using your turn signals to let other drivers know when you’re turning or changing lanes. You should always ride in the same direction as traffic and never on the sidewalk.

Other Important Laws

There are a few other laws that all motorcyclists in Washington, DC, should be aware of.

  • Motorcyclists must inspect, register, and insure their bike
  • Wearing eye protection, such as goggles or a windshield, is required
  • Motorcycles must have a left-side rear-view mirror
  • Motorcycles must have a daytime headlight or modulating headlight
  • Handlebars on a bike may not be higher than 15 inches above the seat
  • Motorcycle mufflers or other equipment cannot be modified to amplify sound above 86 decibels
  • The use and possession of radar detectors are prohibited
  • Motorcyclists can not lane split or share lanes
  • Motorcycles must have a passenger footrest and seat whenever carrying a passenger
  • Motorcyclists cannot park their bikes on the sidewalk
Traveling on a motorcycle on the roads

Common Hazards

Motorcyclists face a few hazards on the road that other drivers may not be aware of. For example, gravel and debris can be especially dangerous for motorcyclists, as they can cause riders to lose control of their bikes. Additionally, potholes and uneven pavement can also be a hazard, as they can cause the motorcycle to wobble or even overturn. Be sure to watch out for these hazards when you’re riding, and take extra care to avoid them if possible.

Staying Safe on Your Motorcycle

The best way to stay safe on your motorcycle is to always wear a helmet. In Washington, DC, all motorcyclists and passengers must wear a helmet that meets the US Department of Transportation standards. You should also wear protective clothing, such as gloves, boots, and a heavy jacket or pants. This will help to protect you in case of an accident.

Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in DC?

The Washington, D.C. motorcycle accident lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have a proven track record of success in helping clients obtain the maximum compensation possible for injuries they have suffered due to the negligence of others. Our firm has consistently demonstrated we have the expertise needed to help our clients see that justice is served. We have the resources needed to conduct thorough investigations of all the circumstances contributing to a motorcycle accident, gathering evidence to establish negligence and other types of liability.

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Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has obtained more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements, and our attorneys have more than a century of combined legal experience. Two of our partners are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our firm has also earned the highest AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, one of the most respected attorney-ranking service organizations in the United States. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. attorneys work passionately on behalf of our clients to help them secure fair compensation – there is no type of case that is too complex for us to litigate. 

Contact a Washington DC Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today

If you are looking for the highest level of representation available for your motorcycle accident claim, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.

We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600  or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.

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