Riding a motorcycle is exciting and easier on the wallet than driving a car, truck, or SUV. However, it’s also much more dangerous. When you ride a motorcycle, your only protection from injuries is the gear you’re wearing.
Because of the extreme risk of serious injuries and even death that motorcyclists face when they ride, some states have enacted laws requiring riders to wear certain pieces of safety equipment. Where does Oklahoma stand on this requirement?
Only Riders Under Age 18 Are Required to Wear a Helmet in Oklahoma
Riders in Oklahoma can head out on public roads without a helmet as long as they’re over age 17 or riding a “motor-driven cycle defined by the state as having an engine displacement greater than 34 cc but less than 150 cc or electric motor that produces more than 1,000 watts moped, defined by the state as having an engine displacement of 50 cc or less, brake horsepower of 2 or less and maximum speed of 30 mph.”
If you’re over age 17 and/or riding a vehicle that falls into the category above, you should still wear a helmet. It’s the single most important piece of safety equipment you can wear while riding.
Suffering a head injury while riding a motorcycle is extremely likely to result in a traumatic or fatal brain injury if you aren’t wearing a helmet. When purchasing a helmet, make sure it fits properly and is Snell, DOT, or ECE approved.
Other Safety Equipment Isn’t Required but Highly Recommended
Although many states require young riders or even riders of all ages to wear helmets, no state requires riders to wear any safety gear beyond helmets. But safe riding means wearing all the gear, all the time, regardless of weather, trip distance, or time of day.
If you ride a motorcycle, you should never leave home without wearing:
- A helmet—Even if you aren’t legally required to do so, wearing a helmet can save your life in an accident.
- A riding jacket—Your arms, chest, and back are extremely vulnerable during a crash. A riding jacket can reduce the risk of severe road rash.
- Riding pants—Your legs are also extremely vulnerable to road rash. High-quality riding pants can protect your skin from the destructive forces of asphalt during a crash.
- Gloves—In addition to protecting the skin on your hands, high-quality gloves can even prevent the loss of fingers during a crash.
- Boots—Boots should be extremely durable and come up to your shins to not only protect your skin, but to also reduce the risk of broken bones and toe amputation.
Never ride shirtless, wearing a t-shirt, shorts, or flip-flops. Even if you’re wearing a helmet, forgoing other safety equipment can make crashes much more painful, disabling, and potentially fatal, as you’ll be at higher risk of blood loss and infection.
Why You Need a Lawyer After a Crash that Wasn’t Your Fault
Motorcyclists are incredibly vulnerable on the road, but they still often get blamed for crashes that weren’t their fault. People rarely pay attention to law-abiding, safety-conscious riders, even though they make up the bulk of motorcyclists in Oklahoma. Instead, they focus on daredevil riders who speed, weave in and out of traffic, and ride without safety equipment.
When motorcyclists are involved in crashes, people unfairly assume they were among that group of reckless riders. That can result in riders having their claims reduced or denied by biased insurance companies.
At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, we work hard to prevent that from happening. Contact our Oklahoma City motorcycle accident lawyers today for a free consultation to learn how we can put our experience to work for you.