There is nothing more thrilling than getting on a motorcycle and hitting the open roads in Nevada. Many people may not realize that the state contains some of the best motorcycle routes in the country.
Yet, even with all the excitement these bikes can bring, they are not without their faults. In truth, because of their lack of protection, when other drivers crash into bikes, they often cause devastating injuries. This is especially true when other motorists do not exercise the necessary degree of care when operating their vehicles.
To understand what this degree of care entails, we will go into detail about Nevada motorcycle laws, and what you need to do if the worst happens and you suffer extensive injuries in a motorcycle accident due to another person’s wrongful actions.
What Motorcyclists Need to Know About Riding Their Bike in Nevada
According to Nevada law, motorcycles may drive on all the public roads and highways in the state. However, to operate a motorcycle on these roads, the motorcyclist must hold a motorcycle license or have a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license. If the rider is from another state, Nevada does allow the transfer of licenses.
In addition, to ride a motorcycle, the rider needs to be at least 16 years old, and register the motorcycle with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.
Nevada Laws Regarding the Motorcycle and its Equipment
Nevada defines a motorcycle as a motor vehicle that is equipped with a saddle or seat for the use of the driver and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground. However, the state excludes tractors, mopeds, and electric bicycles as part of this definition.
The laws of the Nevada also indicate that to ride motorcycles on the state’s roadways, the bike must meet all of these requirements:
- Fenders must protect the motorcycle wheels.
- The seat needs to be high enough so that the motorcyclist’s feet do not reach the ground simultaneously.
- The handlebars cannot extend more than six inches above the motorcyclist’s shoulders when the rider sits on the seat and the seat is depressed by the rider’s weight.
- The bike’s headlamps must be 24 to 54 inches from the ground, and the color temperatures need to range from 5,000 to 6,000 kelvins.
- The bike’s stoplights and one-to-two headlamps must be visible from 1,000 feet and used during bad weather and a half-hour after sunset, as well as a half-hour before sunrise.
- The motorcycle needs to have at least one tail lamp that emits a red light visible from 500 feet.
- The bike needs at least one rear reflector, which is visible from 300 feet and between 20 and 60 inches from the ground.
- Those bikes manufactured in 1973 and later must have an electric turn signal lamp in the rear and the front. The front lamp’s color can range from amber to white, and the rear lamp’s color can vary from red to amber.
- There need to be two rearview mirrors, which are at least three inches long, mounted on each handlebar. These mirrors need to enable the motorcyclist to see 200 feet to the rear.
- The bike needs to have brakes and a functioning muffler.
- The bikes must have a horn, and all riders need to comply with local exhaust and noise ordinances.
Nevada Laws Regarding Motorcycle Helmets
In Nevada, motorcyclists and passengers must wear helmets that meet U.S. Department of Transportation standards.
Generally, this means the helmet:
- Must weigh at least three pounds
- Must have an inner liner made up of a minimum one-inch thick layer of firm polystyrene foam
- Must have a sturdy chin strap with rivets
- Must have a manufacturer label revealing its model type, name, year, and materials
- Must have external components that extend no further than two-tenths of an inch from the helmet’s surface
- Must have a sticker on the back imprinted with “DOT,” which certifies that it complies with the Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standards
Plus, if a motorcycle lacks a windscreen or windshield, the rider must also wear a protective shield or goggles, as well as protective gloves.
Nevada Traffic Laws You Must Know
In Nevada, motorcyclists need to abide by the same laws and rules as other motor vehicle drivers in the state, such as not exceeding the maximum speed on the roads. However, there are also special situations and regulations that all drivers need to be aware of to ensure that vehicles and motorcyclists can safely share the road.
Take, for instance, the following:
- Motorcyclists have a right to use a whole traffic lane, but two riders may share a lane as long as both riders consent.
- Because of their size, motorcycles are less visible than other vehicles and may appear farther away than they are.
- Motorcyclists may be forced from their position on the roads with strong winds or if rough road surfaces are present.
- Vehicles riding behind a motorcycle should leave plenty of space between them and the rider.
- A motorcycle’s turn signals are not self-canceling. That is why before an automobile makes a lane change or turn, they need to know what the motorcyclist is doing by watching for clues such as the rider turning their head to look behind them or the rider starting to lean or tilt their motorcycle in one direction.
- Vehicles need to dim their headlights when approaching a motorcycle since these lights can cause a blinding effect on the rider.
- Vehicles should increase their following distance behind a motorcyclist if it is raining or the roads are slippery.
Nevada’s Rules Regarding Motorcyclist Passengers
Motorcycle operators are only allowed to carry one passenger on their bike.
However, the passenger may only ride the bike:
- Astride another seat firmly attached behind the motorcyclist
- Behind the motorcyclist and astride a seat made for two people, or
- In an attached sidecar
In addition, all motorcycles designed for a passenger must also have an adjustable footrest.
What Is a Motorcycle Lemon Law in Nevada?
The motorcycle lemon law in Nevada provides a path to financial compensation for those individuals who bought a defective motorcycle. Under these laws, a consumer who purchased a defective motorcycle may be eligible to recover monetary compensation for their harm and losses. However, under this law, a motorcycle is only a lemon if the problem still exists after a reasonable number of repair attempts.
Nevada’s Motorcycle Licensing Regulations
In Nevada, you cannot operate a motorcycle without obtaining the proper license, which is a class M license. To receive this license, you need to either enroll in an approved motorcycle course and pass it, or you can request a written and skills motorcycle test with the DMV in Nevada.
If an individual is under the age of 18 and wants to obtain a Class M license, they also need to complete these additional requirements:
- They must show proof of school attendance
- They must pass a knowledge and vision test
- They must complete driver’s education
- They must obtain a learner’s permit
- They must show proof of 50 completed hours driving with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old
- They must pass a driving skills test
Other Important Motorcycle Laws You Should Know
In addition to the laws indicated above, there are a few other motorcycle laws and rules that riders need to know about to ensure that they are staying safe on the roads and that their rights remain protected. These laws include the following:
Nevada’s Insurance Laws
According to the state’s insurance laws, a motorcycle rider needs to have the same liability insurance required for all automobiles. These motorcyclists also need to carry proof of this insurance at all times when riding in Nevada.
Nevada is an At-Fault State
It is also important to note that Nevada is an “at-fault” state, which means that an individual that causes a motorcycle accident in the state is liable for damages caused by the accident. This also means that an individual injured in the accident or the family members of an individual killed in the motorcycle accident can bring a lawsuit against those who caused the crash.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other prescribed pharmaceuticals is a severe offense in Nevada. If a motorcyclist is pulled over for suspicion of a DUI, they may be asked to take a preliminary breath test as well as perform a field sobriety test. If the motorcyclist gets arrested, they may also be required to submit to a chemical test, which can include breath or blood, depending on the situation.
If an individual is convicted of driving under the influence, they can face significant jail or prison time and hefty penalties depending on the situation’s circumstances.
According to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, the state does not have a “cooling-off period” or a right of rescission. This means that a motorcycle purchase is usually final unless an individual agreement has been implemented that specifically indicates otherwise. However, if there is a serious and previously unknowable problem with the motorcycle, the buyer of this bike may have certain legal rights and be able to sue in these situations.
If You Were Injured in a Motorcycle Collision in Nevada, Reach out to an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
Motorcycle accidents are known to produce devastating consequences, including catastrophic injuries, excruciating pain, and astronomical medical expenses that will forever affect a person’s life and future. For these reasons, following a motorcycle accident, especially if it was due to another person’s reckless, intentional, or negligent actions, you should reach out to an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.
Once retained, a lawyer can:
- Go over your motorcycle accident with you in detail, determine if you have a viable claim, and figure out what legal options you can pursue.
- Answer all the questions and concerns you have regarding your claim and provide you with the legal support you need during this challenging time.
- Thoroughly investigate your motorcycle collision and secure the documentation and evidence needed to prove fault and damages.
- Obtain experts such as accident reconstructionists, doctors, financial specialists, and engineers to validate your claim.
- Hold all those at fault for your accident accountable for the harm and injuries you endured.
- Adequately prepare and file all of your legal motions and documents with the correct court before time expires.
- Handle all the negotiations with the insurer and the other side, and go after the just settlement offer you need.
- Take your case to trial and fight for maximum financial damages if the other side won’t negotiate fairly.