Arizona motorcycle laws can be tough to navigate, but it is important to understand them before you take to the open road on your bike. Following motorcycle laws may seem tedious, but they can actually make biking more enjoyable by ensuring your safety. Motorcyclists are at a much greater risk than those who drive other motor vehicles such as cars and trucks because there are fewer protections. Without a chassis, seatbelts, airbags, and other safety measures which come standard in larger vehicles, motorcyclists are at risk of being struck by flying objects or thrown from their bikes, which can cause serious or catastrophic injuries and even death.
Understanding the Guidelines for Motorcyclists in Arizona
By familiarizing yourself with Arizona motorcycle laws, you can dramatically reduce your chances of getting into an accident that will leave you with a long-term or permanent injury. In this blog post, our Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyers at Alex & Associates explain local motorcycle helmet and lane splitting laws.
What is Arizona’s Motorcycle Helmet Law?
Arizona motorcycle helmet laws aren’t as strict as you might think. ARS 28-964 states that only people who are 18 years old or younger must wear a helmet while on a motorcycle. The law also requires motorcyclists wear glasses, goggles, or a transparent face shield while riding.
Just because Arizonans above the age of 18 are not required to wear a helmet, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t, however. Helmets save lives—according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), helmets saved an estimated 1,859 lives in 2016 and reduce the risk of death in accidents by 37%.
Wearing a helmet can protect you from injuries such as:
- Brain injuries or TBI (traumatic brain injury)
- Cervical spine injury (CSI)
- Neck fractures
- Facial fractures
- Loss of teeth and other dental injuries
- Ear and eye damage
- Disfigurement and scarring
Is Lane Splitting Legal in Arizona?
Arizona motorcycle laws regarding lane splitting are more strict than local helmet laws. Lane splitting is the practice of passing other vehicles proceeding in the same direction within the same lane—also called "lane sharing"—and is forbidden statewide.
A section of ARS 28-903 states that motorcyclists cannot pass another vehicle in the same lane of traffic and the motorcyclist shall not split traffic lanes.
When traveling, take note of which places allow lane-splitting and those that don’t. California is the only U.S. state that allows lane splitting—parts of Europe and Asia do as well. Despite how you may feel about lane splitting, the fact is that it is not allowed in Arizona or most of the U.S. so you are at risk of being pulled over and getting a ticket if you do it. You also may startle or encumber other drivers by lane splitting which can cause an accident, so do so at your own risk.
We wish all the Arizona motorcyclists out there safe travels!
For more information about motorcycle accidents in Arizona and how to prevent them, read our Alex & Associates e-book Motorcycle Accidents in Arizona: Surviving the Crash and the Claim. For a personal injury lawyer with a track record of success to represent you following a motorcycle accident contact us 24/7 for a free consultation.