Nevada Motorcycle Laws You Should Know
Operating a motorcycle in Nevada can be incredibly exhilarating. With plenty of areas to ride, good weather, and the right riding companions, motorcyclists in this state can enjoy a ride around town or across longer distances. However, there are very important motorcycle laws that any rider in Nevada needs to be aware of before they hit the road, provided by our Las Vegas motorcycle accident attorney at Bighorn Law.
Obtaining a Motorcycle License?
In order to obtain a Class M license (motorcycle license) in Nevada, individuals must be at least 16 years of age. They will need to provide proof of their identity as well as their Social Security number in order to obtain this license. There are three ways to obtain a Class M license endorsement in Nevada:
- Transfer an out-of-state motorcycle license to Nevada within 30 days of moving to the state
- Take a knowledge test, skills test, and vision test as required by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles
- Complete a Motorcycle Safety Foundation-certified Motorcycle Safety Course.
It is imperative for any motorcyclist to read and learn the motorcycle operator manual provided by the state.
Are Helmets Required?
In the state of Nevada, all motorcyclists are required to wear helmets that are securely fastened to their heads. Unlike many other states, there is no particular age requirement for helmets. Any motorcyclist is required to wear a DOT-approved helmet. This means that the helmet meets the following requirements:
- It is at least three pounds
- There is an inner liner made up of a one-inch thick layer of polystyrene foam
- No external components coming out more than 2/10 of an inch from the helmet’s surface
- The helmet lists the manufacturer’s label that has the name, year, materials, and model type
- There is a sturdy chin strap with rivets
- The back of the helmet has a sticker imprinted with DOT to certify its compliance
Under Statute 486.180, What Are the Required Types of Equipment?
Statute 486.180 provides very specific rules about the types of equipment motorcycle rider needs to have to protect themselves when operating their bike. If you do not have these types of equipment available to you, you could be fined as a result. The requirements include showing the motorcycle is roadworthy by having the following:
- At least one working headlight
- Electric turn signals that function
- Footrests, including footrests for passengers
- Fenders located on both the back and the front wheels
- A horn that works
- A muffler
- Front and rear brakes
- A reflector – it must be visible by at least 300 feet and must be mounted between 20 inches and 60 inches above the ground
- A brake light that can be seen at least 300 feet when there is daylight
- A red tail light that can be seen from at least 500 feet (brighter than the brake light)
In situations where the bike is older, you may be able to avoid some of these requirements, but those restrictions are few. The key is to ensure the bike meets the state’s requirements before you set out on the road. If you are not sure about specific features, be sure to ask about them before assuming your bike is safe.
Riding Under the Influence
Just like regular vehicle drivers in Nevada, motorcyclists can face DUI charges if they are operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The legal blood alcohol content level in Nevada is .08%, but a person can still face impaired driving charges at a level less than that. Additionally, a motorcyclist can face DUI charges if they have any illegal amount of certain drugs in their bloodstream.
Rules for Passengers
A motorcycle can only have passengers if the motorcycle is designed to carry more than one person and has separate footrests for the additional passenger. Passengers must ride behind the motorcycle driver in a seat that was designed for two people or in a separate second seat attached to the rear of the driver. Additionally, attached sidecars are allowed to carry passengers.
Driving and Passing
The practice of lane splitting is not allowed in Nevada. Lane splitting is when motorcyclists travel down the center line of traffic between two lanes going in the same direction. Motorcyclists are allowed to ride next to one another in the same lane so long as both motorcyclists give their consent to do so.
Motorcyclists cannot pass another vehicle in the same lane that they are already in, even if they can fit. Motorcyclists are required to pass other motorists in the same way they would do so in a vehicle.
Nevada Insurance Laws
In Nevada, motorcycle riders may maintain proper insurance coverage to operate their motorcycle. This type of insurance is liability coverage, meaning it helps to protect other people if you cause losses to them. It is critical to know and maintain adequate insurance coverage, including the following, as noted by the Department of Business and Industry – Nevada Division of Insurance.
- $25,000 per person per accident in bodily insurance coverage
- $50,000 for all persons per accident in bodily injury coverage
- $20,000 per accident for property damage coverage
In addition to these liability insurance policies, drivers also may also wish to maintain uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Some people may also need to invest in MedPay or medical payment coverage. Remember that these coverages may not protect you outright, but they can provide financial support.
Nevada Is an At-Fault State
Nevada is an at-fault state. That means that the insurance company you have is obligated to pay for the damages that you cause to others. Fault in any type of accident like this is dependent on multiple factors. However, most often, you are responsible for the losses you cause.
Multiple people can be at fault in these accidents. In some situations, a person may be awarded compensation as long as they are under 50% responsible for the case. Keep in mind that this can be hard to do and prove without the help of an attorney.
Call a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been in a car accident with another party, the person responsible for the losses typically will need to pay for the losses others incurred. It is critical, then, that you consider the level of fault assigned to you after an accident. Our legal team can help you to do that. Call Bighorn Law today to schedule a free consultation with a Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyer.