Nothing compares to flying down the road on a motorcycle. You feel the wind on your face, and the raw power of your bike, and you also get to witness the great scenery around you. However, before you hop on a motorcycle in Washington State, it’s important to understand the laws. If you fail to do so, you could be left with hefty fines or serious criminal charges.

In this post, we’ll talk more about motorcycle laws in Washington, including helmet laws, motorcycle safety tips, and the benefits of choosing Seattle motorcycle accident lawyers if involved in a crash.

Quick Summary of Washington State Motorcycle Laws

Key points regarding motorcycle laws in Washington:

  • Drivers must wear a DOT-approved helmet with eye protection
  • The DOT-approved helmet must be in good working condition
  • Riders must have a valid learner’s permit or Class C, M1, or M2 license
  • Drivers 18 years of age or younger need to pass a motorcycle education course
  • If carrying passengers, motorcycles must be equipped with a passenger seat and footrests
  • Passengers must be 5 years of age or older
  • Handlebar must be no more than 30” above the seat
  • Riders are required to keep headlights and taillights on at all times
  • Turning signals must be fully functional
  • Motorcycles need to have a right and left mirror

Keep in mind that Washington state law doesn’t say riders must wear protective clothing, such as gloves or jackets. However, wearing these items can help prevent serious injuries. It’s also important to note that riders using a motorcycle with a windshield don’t need eye protection.

While motorcycles are safe to ride, accidents do happen. If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident and you need legal help, contact Craig Swapp & Associates today. We have a Seattle motorcycle lawyer who will fight for your rights!

Do You Need a Motorcycle License in Washington?

According to Washington law, motorcycle drivers must carry a driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement. Also, as of January 2020, riders are required to pass a basic knowledge and skills test to receive a learner’s permit. To get a motorcycle endorsement, riders must pass an advanced knowledge and skills exam. Riders caught without an endorsement in Washington state are required to pay a fine of $386. Also, your motorcycle may be impounded if it’s used on roadways without the necessary endorsement.

If your motorcycle has a steering wheel or a partially or fully enclosed seating area with safety belts, an endorsement isn’t needed. Also, it’s important to note that motorcycles with engines under 49ccs don’t apply to this law. If you have a scooter that’s 49ccs or under, all you need is a valid Washington driver’s license.

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Is Motorcycle Insurance Required?

Washington law says that all drivers, including motorcyclists, must have insurance while operating a motor vehicle. Additionally, this insurance needs to meet the established minimum coverage limits. Riders are required to have a policy that covers up to $10,000 in property damage per accident. Also, your insurance must carry bodily injury liability coverage of $25,000 per person.

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Is Lane Splitting Legal?

Many of us have seen motorcyclists cutting through the middle lanes in slow or stopped traffic. While this is legal in California, that isn’t the case in Washington. Referred to as lane splitting, this act is against the law throughout the state. If you’re planning a trip across the Washington border, make sure you understand this law. Getting caught could result in hefty fines.

If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident in Seattle, Washington, seeking legal help right away is essential. Contact our Seattle motorcycle accident lawyer today to start the process! Our Seattle motorcycle lawyer is the best in the business.

Washington Motorcycle Helmet Law

According to Washington law, all motorcycle riders must wear a helmet. These helmets need to meet the requirements set forth by the Washington State Patrol. This protective device must have a neck or chin strap, and it needs to be fastened securely while riding. If your motorcycle is equipped with seat belts and roll bars that are approved by the state patrol, a helmet isn’t required.

Dealing with the aftermath of a motorcycle accident? If so, contact Craig Swapp & Associates today to work with a trusted Seattle motorcycle accident lawyer!

Safety Tips for Riding a Motorcycle

No matter what vehicle you’re driving, staying safe should always be the top priority. However, this is even more important on a motorcycle. Many careless drivers fail to see motorcycles while on the road, which sometimes leads to fatal wrecks. Additionally, motorcyclists can also be negligent, making these situations much more dangerous. Taking the necessary precautions and being aware can go a long way in staying safe.

The State Department of Motor Vehicles encourages riders to have a full understanding of their motorcycle before hitting the roads. There are several different motorcycles out there with various features and capabilities. That said, it’s essential to understand how your specific bike runs and functions.

Another tip is to familiarize yourself with the terrain you’re riding on. Washington State has various environments that provide several different road conditions. Understanding this terrain before riding a motorcycle keeps you safe and also protects those around you.

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Motorcycle Accidents: Why You Need a Lawyer

There are several benefits of choosing a lawyer if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident. The primary advantage is more money in your pocket. As you may be dealing with high medical bills and substantial damages, it’s important to get every penny you deserve.

Professional legal advice is another benefit to consider. Motorcycle accident attorneys have a full understanding of how the law works in Washington, which can provide more clarity and less hassle throughout the legal process.

For years, Craig Swapp & Associates has been considered the motorcycle crash attorney Seattle residents can rely on. Call us today for a FREE consultation!

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp