Matthew Minner | April 14, 2022 | Motocycle Accident
If you have a motorcycle, riding along one of Kentucky’s roads can be a beautiful experience. However, taking your motorcycle out for a ride entails some safety considerations as well. Keep reading to learn about how safe it is to ride a motorcycle in Lexington, Kentucky.
Kentucky Motorcycle Laws
The motorcycle laws in Kentucky are designed to keep motorcyclists safe. You must have a license to ride a motorcycle in Kentucky unless you are on private property. You must also register your motorcycle with the Kentucky Department of Transportation. Anyone over the age of 18 can apply for a motorcycle permit.
Kentucky offers motorcycle safety training courses. The motorcyclist classes in Kentucky help you operate your motorcycle as safely as possible and become confident on the road. If you take one of Kentucky’s motorcycle rider training courses, you do not have to take a skills test when applying for your motorcycle license. To ensure your motorcycle is safe to ride, Kentucky requires motorcycles to have:
- Permanently affixed seat and footrest
- Rearview mirror
- Brake light
- Front and rear brakes
- High and low beam headlights
- Good tires
By keeping your motorcycle in optimal condition, you can navigate Kentucky’s roads more safely.
Is Lane Splitting Allowed for Motorcycles in Kentucky?
Lane splitting is when a motorcycle rider maneuvers between lanes of traffic. A motorcyclist might lane split to avoid being rear-ended by another car in stop-and-go traffic. They also might lane split simply to get through traffic faster. Congested traffic is riskier for motorcyclists, and lane splitting can seem like a better alternative.
Kentucky does not have any laws regulating lane splitting. However, if a police officer catches you lane splitting, you might get a traffic violation for engaging in reckless driving behavior. Although lane splitting is tempting in stop-and-go traffic, it can also be risky. If a driver doesn’t see you traveling in the middle of the lane, they might try to change lanes and crash into you. You could also ride too close to another vehicle and cause a collision. It is best not to lane split to avoid causing an accident if possible.
What Are the Dangers for Motorcyclists in Kentucky?
Most motorcycle accidents in Kentucky occur on short trips, only a few minutes into travel. According to the Kentucky Department of Transportation, almost 40% of all motorcycle accidents are caused by a driver turning left in front of a motorcycle. It is easy for drivers to overlook a motorcycle in their blind spot.
Although accidents involving motorcycles are similar to car accidents, they are more complicated because the injuries sustained by motorcyclists can be more severe. Motorcycle accidents are also more likely to result in wrongful deaths, which can be emotionally devastating and legally complex for families to process.
What Can Motorcycle Riders Do to Stay Safe?
One of the most important precautions every motorcyclist should take is to wear a helmet. If you are in a motorcycle accident, a helmet can save your life. Even though Kentucky does not require motorcyclists over 21 years old to wear a helmet, it should be an automatic action before ever getting on your bike.
Most motorcycle accidents happen when a motorcyclist is going 30 mph or under. At slower speeds, helmets can decrease the number and severity of injuries by 50%, according to the Kentucky State Police. Refusing to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle is not only dangerous, but it can also impact your personal injury claim if you are involved in any kind of accident. Insurance companies will try to use the fact that you weren’t wearing a helmet to deny or reduce your compensation claim.
Additionally, motorcyclists should wear reflective or bright-colored clothes to be more visible to other vehicles. Make it easy for cars to see you so as to avoid a crash.