A motorcycle rider in full gear is about to pull the visor down on his helmet before going for a ride.

Learn What Rights and Responsibilities Motorcycle Riders Have

As a motorcycle rider in Alabama, understanding your rights and responsibilities is crucial to ensuring your safety and compliance with the law. Whether you are a seasoned rider or a newcomer, familiarizing yourself with the state's motorcycle laws can help you avoid fines, accidents, and legal issues. This guide covers the specific laws and regulations that apply to motorcycle riders in Alabama, providing you with the essential information you need to ride safely and legally.

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As experienced motorcycle accident attorneys, we understand the unique challenges and risks faced by motorcycle riders. In this article, we will discuss laws that apply specifically to Alabama motorcycle riders. However, it is important to be aware of all the rules of the road. Standard driving laws like those that require sober driving, following the speed limit, and obeying traffic signs and signals apply to motorcycle riders, too.

There are also things to consider that are not legally required but are highly recommended, such as wearing appropriate protective jackets and pants, checking your motorcycle before getting on the road, and learning to “ride your own ride” when driving with others to be sure you aren’t pressured into stepping outside of your skill level.

Before You Ride

Before hitting the road, ensure that you and your motorcycle are fully prepared and compliant with Alabama’s motorcycle laws. Here are the key aspects to consider:

Essential Gear

  • Helmet: Alabama law requires all motorcycle riders, regardless of age, to wear a helmet. The helmet must comply with standards set by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Wearing a DOT-approved helmet is mandatory for all riders. The helmet should fit snugly and provide adequate protection for the head and face.
  • Shoes: Riders must wear shoes, preferably sturdy, over-the-ankle footwear to protect their feet and ankles.

To ensure your motorcycle is street-legal, it must be equipped with the following:

  1. Lighting: A functioning headlight, taillight, and brake light are essential for visibility and safety.
  2. Brakes: Both front and rear brakes must be in good working order.
  3. Turn Signals: Operational turn signals are required to communicate your intentions to other drivers.
  4. Horn: A working horn is necessary for alerting other road users.
  5. Mirrors: Two rearview mirrors are required to provide a clear view of the road behind you.
  6. Footpegs: If you plan to carry a passenger, your motorcycle must have footpegs for them. Riders are only allowed to carry one passenger at a time.

Licensing & Endorsements

To legally ride a motorcycle in Alabama, you must obtain a Class M endorsement on your driver’s license. For more information, check out our detailed guide on obtaining a motorcycle license endorsement in Alabama.

Insurance Requirements

Alabama law requires motorcycle riders to carry minimum insurance coverage, including:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person per accident.
  • $50,000 for combined bodily injury per accident.
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident.
  • Alternatively, a combined single limit of $75,000 is acceptable.

Having the proper insurance coverage not only ensures compliance with the law but also provides financial protection in case of an accident.

On the Road

When riding your motorcycle on Alabama roads, it is important to follow specific laws and best practices to ensure your safety and the safety of others. Alabama law requires riders to keep both hands on the handlebars at all times, ensuring full control of the bike. 

Motorcycles are entitled to the full use of a lane, just like any other vehicle, but lane splitting—riding between lanes of traffic—is illegal and can result in fines and penalties. Additionally, no more than two motorcycles may ride side by side in a single lane, which helps maintain order and safety on the road.

After an Accident

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in Alabama, there are important steps you need to take to protect your rights and ensure your safety. Here’s what you need to know:

Reporting the Accident

Alabama law requires that any accident involving injuries must be reported to the police. This ensures that there is an official record of the incident, which can be important for insurance claims and legal proceedings.

Contributory Negligence

Alabama follows the contributory negligence rule, which means that if you are found to be even partially at fault for the accident, you may be barred from recovering any damages. It is essential to gather evidence and witness statements to support your claim that you were not at fault.

Alabama’s Statute of Limitations

If the accident was not your fault, you have up to 2 years to file a personal injury claim. This time frame is known as the statute of limitations. Failing to file within this period can result in losing your right to seek compensation.

Staying Safe & Preventing Accidents

To avoid accidents and injuries, always follow safe riding practices and adhere to Alabama motorcycle laws. Wearing proper protective gear, maintaining your motorcycle, and practicing defensive riding can significantly reduce the risk of accidents.

You Have the Right to an Alabama Motorcycle Injury Attorney

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, it is essential to understand your legal rights and options. Our attorneys at Floyd Hunter Injury Law are here to help you navigate the complexities of personal injury claims and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Why Choose Our Attorneys?

  • Experience and Expertise: Our team has extensive experience handling motorcycle accident cases in Alabama. We understand the unique challenges riders face and are committed to advocating for your rights.
  • Personalized Approach: We take the time to understand your situation and tailor our legal strategy to meet your specific needs.
  • Proven Track Record: Our attorneys have a history of successfully securing favorable outcomes for our clients.

Don’t wait to seek legal assistance. Contact our Montgomery or Millbrook motorcycle attorneys today for a free consultation and let us help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. With our attorneys by your side, you can focus on your recovery while we handle the legal aspects of your case.