Now is as good of a time as any to go for a road trip on a motorcycle. Although, before you hit the road it is important to know your state’s motorcycle laws, and to stay safe while you ride. The following article will bring you up to date on the North Carolina motorcycle laws, and provide general safety tips.
North Carolina Laws and Regulations
- Motorcycle Requirements:
- One or two headlamps that can illuminate a person or object from at least 200 feet away and be on during motorcycle operation.
- A horn that is audible from 200 feet away.
- At least one side mirror that can view behind the motorcycle for at least 2,000 feet.
- At least one braking system.
- A taillight that is visible from 500 feet away and on during motorcycle operation.
- License plate light(s) that make the license plate visible from at least 50 feet away.
- A brake light that is visible from 100 feet away.
- A muffler is required on your motorcycle, but there is not sound limit.
- Rider and Passenger Requirements:
- You may only carry a passenger on your motorcycle if it is designed to do so.
- All riders and passengers on a motorcycle must wear state approved motorcycles.
- Eye protection is not required by law, but is recommended when you ride a motorcycle.
- Insurance Requirements:
- $30,000 of bodily damage or death coverage for one person in an accident.
- $60,000 of bodily damage or death coverage for more than one person in a single accident.
- $25,000 of property damage coverage for a single accident.
- Licensing Requirements:
- Anyone with a standard driver’s license is eligible to apply for a motorcycle endorsement.
- If you are younger than 18 years old, you will need a parent or legal guardian’s signature to obtain a motorcycle endorsement.
- You may receive a motorcycle permit to learn how to ride a motorcycle before you apply for an endorsement.
- Prepare for a crash before you ride.
Every rider, even the most experienced ones, crash every once in awhile. One of the best ways to stay safe is to know what you will do when a crash starts, and how you might prevent a crash from happening. Remember to always be aware of your surroundings, and to wear bright visible clothing. Most crashes happen within five miles from the point at which the rider started his motorcycle. So, it would be a good idea to become comfortable with your motorcycle before you start riding it regularly. This is also why it would be an excellent idea to take a motorcycle safety course.
- Wear protective clothing.
When you are riding a motorcycle, you will be exposed to all the road has to offer. Wear clothing that is durable and will protect you in case of a slide. Some motorcycle companies make their own brand of cloths that have armor woven into it, but jean and a leather jacket will work fine too. Wear heavy boots that come up above your ankle. This will allow you to shift gears more easily, and might prevent a broken foot bone if you crash. Wear a helmet that fits snuggly on your head and fasten the chin strap securely so it doesn’t fall off if you crash. You might also want a helmet with a face shield. Not only does this provide more protection, but it might also keep you from accidentally swallowing a bug.
- Carry more than just the minimum amount of insurance coverage.
Only having the minimum amount of insurance coverage could leave you with some financial troubles in the event of an accident. So, there are some policies that you should consider, including:
- Liability coverage will cover any damages to a certain point if you are found liable for a crash. This coverage should be considered a necessity.
- Comprehensive damage coverage will pay for damages that were not caused by crashing into another vehicle. For example, this coverage will pay for damages if your bike is stolen or suffers from weather damage.
- Uninsured motorist coverage will help pay for medical bills and property damage if you crash into an uninsured motorist.
- Roadside assistance will send you a tow truck and get your motorcycle repaired. You should strongly consider this coverage if you are going for a long road trip. Even if you do know how to fix your own motorcycle, fixing it on the side of the road with limited tools and no garage isn’t much fun.