Motorcycle Season Safety

By Pauline Nassif, Civil Litigation Paralegal

As Spring is slowly greeting us and Summer is on the horizon, motorcycle season will soon arrive. Riders are looking forward to the wind in their face and the open road ahead of them.  Swanson and Moors, LLC would like to take this opportunity to review essential pre-season preparation for motorcyclists to keep you safe.

First, take the time to inspect your motorcycle and helmet and review the Massachusetts driving manual. Also, now is a great time to call your insurance policy to be sure that riders are carrying enough insurance in the event of an accident.

Licensing and Insurance. Class M licenses are required for Massachusetts motorcyclists. Anyone who is 16 or older may take the Class M exam, unless the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) has taken away your right to operate.  Once you pass the exam, you must obtain auto insurance for your motorcycle. Be vigilant when choosing an insurance plan. Under the law, Massachusetts motorcyclists are only required to purchase compulsory insurance. But you can and should purchase optional coverage in order to provide yourself with the best protection possible.

We strongly encourage you to ask your insurance agent about insurance laws for motorcycles and the facts about coverage for accidents involving underinsured and uninsured drivers. If you are ever become injured in a motorcycle accident and the driver responsible does not have adequate insurance, you may have to access your own insurance policy to make up the difference in order to pay some of your medical bills and other costs.  Insurance companies do not provide for Personal Injury Protection (no-fault benefits) on motorcycle policies. We also strongly recommend that you purchase Medical Payments coverage. That coverage will provide insurance for you and your passenger in the event of an accident.

Follow the Rules of the Road. Massachusetts motorcyclists must follow the same rules as other drivers, but there are some differences. If you have questions, you can quickly check the Massachusetts Motorcycle Manual online.

ALWAYS Wear a Helmet. In Massachusetts, the law requires that motorcyclists must wear helmets which are approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Helmets are one of the best ways to save lives so make sure yours is in good condition. Consider replacing your helmet if you have previously been involved in a motorcycle accident or fall.  You may have compromised the integrity of your helmet during that accident or fall.

Clothing and Gear. Select the suitable clothing, gloves and gear to protect you during various driving conditions.