Before purchasing your first motorcycle or pursuing a motorcycle license, familiarize yourself with North Carolina’s laws for motorcyclists. In addition to several laws around passing tests for a motorcycle license, you will need to purchase a certified motorcycle safety helmet.
A standard driver’s license does not permit you to operate a motorcycle in North Carolina. You must obtain a motorcycle learner’s permit. To be eligible, you must be 18 years of age or older and have a regular driver’s license. Drivers between the ages of 16 and 18 must at least have a provisional license and parental or guardian approval.
To earn a motorcycle learner’s permit, you must pass three tests:
- Vision test
- Road sign test
- Knowledge test
North Carolina motorcycle helmet laws
Once you’ve passed your test and have a motorcycle learner’s permit, you’ll need to be prepared to follow the rules of the road. This includes wearing a helmet while operating a motorcycle. The helmet must meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218.
Just having an approved helmet is not enough though. You must keep the chin strap fastened while operating a motorcycle in North Carolina.
North Carolina motorcycle safety equipment laws
Helmets are not the only protective gear available for motorcyclists. You can also purchase other safety equipment to protect yourself during your rides.
This safety equipment is not required under North Carolina law. However, it’s always a good idea to protect yourself as best as you can. While you might be a very safe rider, you never know what another driver on the road might do while near you.
Additional motorcycle safety equipment includes:
- Goggles or a face shield attached to your helmet
- Boots that are sturdy enough to protect your feet in case of an accident
- Thick gloves to protect your hands and improve your grip of the handlebars
- Leather jacket or similar synthetic material thick enough to protect you
- Thick pants that cover your entire legs as wearing shorts is never recommended while riding
Preparing your motorcycle for safe riding
To be able to ride your motorcycle on North Carolina streets, you must ensure it complies with state laws concerning safety measures. These safety measures include ensuring your bike has all of the following:
- Visible license plate, even at night
- Horn that is loud enough that other motorists can hear it from 200 feet away
- Rearview mirror
- Exhaust system to protect you from harmful fuels
- Headlight that is constantly on and enables you to see at least 200 feet ahead of you at all times, day or night
- A working speedometer
- Rear red light that is always on, day or night and that other drivers can see from 500 feet away
- Rear brake light drivers can see from at least 100 feet away
- Footrest for passengers
The goal of all of these safety measures is to prevent a motorcycle accident. So, when you review your motorcycle’s safety regularly, you’re ensuring that it is both compliant with the state’s laws and ready to protect you in case of an accident.
When to contact a North Carolina motorcycle accident attorney
Despite your best preparations and safety measures when riding a motorcycle, you still might be the victim of an accident. Sadly, some motorists don’t give motorcycles the respect and space they deserve and need.
Safety measures help mitigate the effects of a motorcycle accident, but many cannot eliminate the risk entirely. So, if you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you should contact an attorney. Your attorney will review your options with you and ensure that your financial damages from an accident are not far-reaching. Contact Robert Louis Armstrong Personal Injury Attorney to learn how we can file a lawsuit to protect you after a motorcycle accident.