Motorcycling is a popular pastime in Spokane, Washington, with many residents enjoying the scenic rides and the feeling of freedom that comes with being on the open road. However, motorcyclists are also vulnerable to serious injuries in accidents, as they have less protection than other motorists.

If you are a rider in Spokane, it is important to know the legal rights of motorcyclists. In this blog post, we will discuss the legal rights of motorcyclists in Spokane, including what to do if you are involved in a motorcycle accident.

Motorcyclists’ Rights Under Washington State Law

Motorcyclists in Washington State enjoy specific rights aimed at their protection and equal treatment on the road, but they are also subject to distinct regulations that are vital for road safety.

Lane Sharing and Lane Splitting

One area where motorcyclists have a unique set of guidelines is lane sharing and lane splitting. Lane sharing refers to when two motorcycles use the same lane side by side. Washington State law permits lane sharing for motorcycles, but lane splitting — riding between lanes of slow-moving or stopped cars — is not permitted (RCW 46.61.608). This regulation is in place for the safety of both motorcyclists and other road users.

Roadway Position

Another crucial aspect is the motorcyclist’s position on the road. In Washington State, motorcyclists are allowed to occupy a full lane, and they are also entitled to all the rights and subject to all the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle (RCW 46.61.608). This is important to note, especially for those who might believe that motorcycles should be kept to the side or are not entitled to full use of a lane.

Signal and Turn Requirements

When it comes to turning and signaling, motorcycles are governed by the same laws that apply to other vehicles. Failure to signal properly can not only lead to a citation but may also complicate the claims process if an accident were to occur.

Anti-Discrimination in Insurance

Under Washington law, insurance companies cannot discriminate against motorcyclists when providing coverage. This means they cannot charge exorbitant premiums solely based on the vehicle type (RCW 48.30.010). This anti-discrimination law ensures that motorcyclists have equal access to necessary insurance coverage, which can be crucial when accidents occur.

Helmets and Gear

It’s worth noting that Washington law requires motorcyclists to wear helmets that meet U.S. Department of Transportation standards. Failing to do so can affect a motorcyclist’s right to seek full compensation in case of an accident (RCW 46.37.530).

Additional Gear Requirements

Aside from helmets, Washington law stipulates that a motorcycle must be equipped with footrests and handlebars that meet specific height requirements (RCW 46.37.530). Motorcycles must also have at least one mirror installed, and the rider should have an unobstructed view of the road behind them. These gear regulations are enforced to promote safety and are essential for you to understand as a motorcyclist in Spokane.

By being aware of these rights and regulations, you arm yourself with knowledge that could be invaluable in the unfortunate event of an accident or legal challenge. Should you find yourself in such a predicament, remember the significance of timely and effective legal representation.

Insurance Concerns

Washington State follows a “fault” car insurance system, meaning the driver who is legally at fault for causing the accident is responsible for any resulting harm or damage. This makes it imperative for motorcyclists to understand the nuances of insurance coverage, including “underinsured” and “uninsured” policies. An auto injury attorney can guide you through these intricacies to ensure that you are well-protected.

Safeguarding Your Legal Rights as a Motorcyclist in Spokane

If you’re a motorcyclist in Spokane, being well-informed about your legal rights can make a significant difference in how you deal with accidents and legal challenges. A reliable motorcycle accident lawyer can be your greatest asset in such circumstances, helping you navigate through the legal maze and working towards fair compensation for your injuries.

When it comes to safeguarding your rights, don’t leave it to chance. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, reach out to Craig Swapp & Associates. With a record of upholding the rights of motorcyclists, they can help you secure the justice you rightfully deserve.

Don’t wait for adversity to test your rights as a motorcyclist in Spokane. Get in touch with experienced injury lawyers today to protect your future and secure the justice you deserve.


Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp