Riding a motorcycle can be a rich and rewarding experience. Although, before you hit the road you should know the state laws regarding motorcycle usage, and keep some basic safety tips in mind.
Motorcycle Laws and Regulations in Louisiana
- All riders and passengers are required to wear a helmet.
- Eye protection is required on motorcycles, unless your motorcycle is equipped with a windshield.
- Your motorcycle must have at least one side mirror.
- Your motorcycle’s handlebars cannot be higher than your shoulders when you ride.
- Your motorcycle must have a tail light that is between 15 and 72 inches off of the ground, and have reflectors that are between 20 and 60 inches off of the ground.
- Turn signals are optional on your motorcycle.
- You must also have a brake light and a headlamp on your motorcycle.
- You may ride abreast of one other rider in a single lane.
- You may not ride on the lane separation line in between to lanes of traffic or “lane split”.
- Minimum of $15,00 bodily damage or death insurance coverage.
- Minimum $25,000 of property damage insurance coverage.
- Practice riding your motorcycle before using it regularly. Most motorcycle crashes happen within five miles from where the motorcycle was started. This is because beginner riders do not take the time to become comfortable riding their motorcycle before driving it regularly. Taking a motorcycle safety course would be an excellent way to sharpen your skills and become more familiar with your motorcycle.
- Prepare for the road, because you never know what might happen. You will be exposed to the elements when you ride a motorcycle (which is part of the fun) and you should dress appropriately to protect yourself. Wear durable clothes that with keep you warm and protect you if you slide your motorcycle. There are some motorcycle companies that manufacture clothing with built-in armor, but a leather jacket and jeans will do just fine. Make sure that your helmet is approved by the US Department of Transportation (indicated by a DOT tag on the back of the helmet). Make sure that the helmet that you buy fits snuggly onto your head and that it covers your entire head to provide the most protection.
- Have more than just the basic insurance coverage. If you are underinsured then you could face some tough financial situations. Consider adding the following coverages to your policy:
- Comprehensive coverage will compensate you for damages to your motorcycle that were not caused by a crash with another vehicle. For example, you will be compensated if your motorcycle is stolen or if a flood causes damage.
- Under/Uninsured motorist coverage will compensate you for damages and medical costs if your crash involves someone who does not have insurance or whose insurance won’t cover all of your damages.
- Additional liability and medical coverage should be considered a necessity whenever you ride any type of vehicle.
- Roadside assistance is offered by some companies and can be very helpful for riders who are planning on going for a long trip. This will allow you to be picked up if you are broken down on the side of the road and will have your motorcycle repaired.