With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
As any competent Las Vegas injury lawyer would note, motorcycle accidents are far too common of an occurrence in the area. This is often due to improper training and illegal operation of a motorcycle in the state. Given the inherent dangers in operating a motorcycle that is dampened or non-existent when driving a traditional passenger vehicle, it’s paramount that you know the rules and regulations before hitting the road.
Here are the basics that you should know, along with your rights under Nevada law, should you be involved in a motorcycle accident Las Vegas.
You Must Have a Motorcycle License
While a standard driver’s license may allow you to operate nearly any vehicle in Nevada legally, you’ll need a “Class M” license to operate a motorcycle on a public road legally.
This can be added as an “endorsement” to your standard license, but you’ll need to prove your ability to operate a motorcycle safely. This can be done in one of two ways. You can take a class at an approved school by that state of Nevada, in which case you won’t need to take an examination or road test at the DMV. If you elect not to take an approved course, you’ll need to take both a written skill and knowledge exam and a practical road exam before getting this.
You Must Have Proper Equipment and Follow Laws
Though much of Nevada is quite rural, the state has a helmet requirement for all motorcyclists. Unless your motorcycle is either less than two horsepower or can’t exceed 30 mph, you’ll need to have a U.S. DOT-approved helmet on whenever you’re driving a motorcycle on a public road.
Even though Nevada has strict laws relative to other states regarding operating a motorcycle, motorcycle accident Las Vegas are frequent and often fatal. This is why it’s imperative that you follow Nevada’s rules, which include:
You can’t have more than one passenger unless the motorcycle is designed to accommodate more than one.
Handlebars for the driver cannot be higher than the driver’s shoulders while the motorcycle is operated.
Every motorcycle must have either one or two operating headlamps at all times.
Any non-antique (i.e., made after 1973) motorcycle must have operational turn signals, and they must be used.
Your Rights As a Motorcyclist in Las Vegas
Now that we’ve gone over many of the regulations that apply to motorcyclists, there’s one particularly unique law embedded in Nevada’s Revised Statutes. Revised Statute 486.331 says that anyone operating a motorcycle is “entitled to all the rights and subject to all the duties applicable to the drivers of motor vehicles as provided by law.”
In short, assuming that you’re operating the motorcycle within Nevada law’s confines, you still retain the privileges any other driver in Las Vegas does. Some states require motorcycles to give up the right of way to passenger vehicles in certain instances. This statute protects against that and any other local ordinance that might require motorcyclists to give way to passenger cars when they wouldn’t if they also were in one.
Though this law may seem useless, it serves as a statewide preemption of local restrictions on motorcyclists. It ensures that people operating motorcycles aren’t treated as second-class citizens, codifying that they shouldn’t be pushed aside in favor of other vehicles. As a Las Vegas injury lawyer could attest, this can have considerable consequences in court. As long as a motorcyclist was driving legally, for example, a car driver cannot use the fact that a motorcycle is more difficult to see than a car as a legal excuse for hitting the motorcycle.
As you can see, while Nevada has high expectations for motorcyclists, the state grants them equal rights to operators of other motor vehicles. If you’ve been involved in an accident as a motorcyclist, don’t feel marginalized!
The Schnitzer Law Firm is headed by Jordan Schnitzer, a prominent personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas. With his partners and a team of associates, you can be assured that your rights will be upheld in court. With millions of dollars in jury verdicts, The Schnitzer Law Firm can help you fight for the compensation you deserve as the result of injuries sustained due to another driver while you were lawfully operating a motorcycle.
If you’re interested in a free, confidential case evaluation by experts in the field, look no further! Just use our chat form at the bottom right corner of our web page to get started. You can also email us at email@example.com or call us at (702) 960-4050. Remember, our staff is awaiting you 24/7, so there’s never a wrong time to get in touch, and if you don’t win, you don’t pay!