Alabama motorcycle laws try to keep bikers safe on the roads. However, no matter how much you try to follow the rules, you can’t control other drivers. During a crash, motorcyclists are vulnerable and more likely to suffer horrific injuries. At Petro Law Firm, we help them rebuild and get justice.
Alabama Motorcycle Laws: Everything You Need to Know
For years, Alabama bikers didn’t need to complete any motorcycle-related training or a road safety test. Times have changed. Today, motorcyclists must:
- Pass a safety course and a written test
- Have a valid motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license
- Wear a helmet, no matter their age
- Follow all of the rules of the road
- Never perform “road splitting” maneuvers (riding down the center line of a road between rows of other vehicles)
- Never let more than two motorcycles operate side-by-side in a single lane
- Wear shoes while operating a motorcycle
Alabama Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Notably, unlike some of our neighboring states, Alabama adopted a universal helmet law. While only young people have to wear motorcycle helmets in some parts of the country, Alabama takes a harder stance. If you’re riding a motorcycle, you must wear a motorcycle-specific helmet without exception. As a responsible biker, you should never let anyone ride on your bike (either as a passenger or operator) without proper head protection.
When you’re picking out a motorcycle helmet, always look for one that complies with Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, fits snugly, has been certified by a reliable safety organization (like the Snell Memorial Foundation). While it is not required, both Petro Law Firm and the State of Alabama encourage all bikers to use a facial visor as well.
At Petro Law Firm, we know that the majority of Alabama’s bike riders are responsible, law-abiding citizens. They understand that safety should be their top priority, and always follow the rules. However, distracted and irresponsible drivers often cause accidents, leaving them with catastrophic or fatal injuries. In 2018 alone, there were almost 1,700 motorcycle crashes in Alabama, according to the Alabama Department of Transportation.
What Causes Most Motorcycle Accidents?
There isn’t one sole cause for motorcycle accidents. While some are single-vehicle crashes, many involve one or more at-fault drivers. Throughout our practice, we’ve worked with bikers and motorists harmed by:
- Failure to yield
- Improper lane changes
- Reckless driving
- Drunk and drugged driving
- Distracted driving
As you can see, most crashes are due to violations of our state’s road rules and safety laws. Most crashes occur at intersections.
However, motorcyclists face one particular challenge. Many times, a motorist claims that they “never saw” the bike, and may even imply that the motorcycle rider was being irresponsible and speeding. Unfortunately, distracted driving can cause people to ignore a bike – especially at an intersection. While they think that they looked for other vehicles, they were distracted and didn’t properly scan the road for more vulnerable users (like motorcyclists, bike riders, and pedestrians).
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The freedom of a motorcycle comes with added risk. During a crash, you don’t have the added protection of seatbelts, airbags, and other safety systems that are common in a passenger vehicle. We frequently see bikers with the following injuries:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord damage
- Back injuries, including herniated discs
- Broken bones and teeth
- Organ damage
- Facial injuries
- Road rash and soft tissue damage
- Joint injuries, such as shoulder injuries
While some bikers walk away with mild injuries, many require intensive medical care. Some never are able to return to work and may even need help completing their daily tasks.
What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
We encourage every biker to follow Alabama motorcycle laws and use protective gear. While a helmet, gloves, and padded jacket or vest can’t prevent every injury, they are scientifically proven to reduce them and save lives.
However, you can’t prevent every crash. If you are involved in an accident, you need to take specific steps to protect yourself:
- Call 911
- Seek medical attention for your injuries
- Collect information, like the names of witnesses and insurance information from the other drivers
- Call Petro Law Firm for a free case evaluation
Notably, under Alabama motorcycle laws, you have an obligation to stay at the scene of the crash, call 911, and provide assistance to those with injuries. If you fail to do this, you may face hit-and-run charges and civil liability.
Whether you like it or not, motorcycle bias exists. You may have done everything right, but the police and the other drivers may assume that you were behaving recklessly. To get the compensation you deserve, you’ll need to fight back. Sometimes, a careful investigation by a lawyer can uncover the real reasons for a crash – clearing your name and protecting your legal rights.
Are You Ready to Learn More About Alabama Motorcycle Laws?
If you’re not sure how Alabama motorcycle laws apply to you – or you were injured by someone else’s negligence – call Petro Law Firm today. Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers can help you understand your legal rights and responsibilities. Then, we can help you build a plan that protects you and your loved ones after a crash.
All consultations are free and we never charge for our legal services unless we recover compensation for you or your family.