Motorcycle Laws in Oklahoma

Motorcyclists face many obstacles and dangers while out on the roads of Oklahoma. For one, they need balance and skill to handle their motorcycles safely, and on top of that, drivers do not always see them in traffic. Worst of all, though, is that their motorcycles won’t protect them at all in the event of a crash.

After a motorcycle accident in Oklahoma City, OK, the at-fault driver’s insurer may try to blame you for the collision by claiming you violated state regulations. Thankfully, a lawyer from Laird Hammons Laird Personal Injury Lawyers can help you address these accusations by reviewing motorcycle laws in Oklahoma. We’ll also help you seek a fair outcome based on your injuries.

Call our law firm at (405) 497-0480 to schedule a free initial consultation with a skilled personal injury attorney in Oklahoma City.

How Laird Hammons Laird Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Motorcycle Accident in Oklahoma City, OK

How Laird Hammons Laird Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Motorcycle Accident in Oklahoma City, OK

Since 2009, Laird Hammons Laird Personal Injury Lawyers has helped injured clients fight for fair compensation from at-fault parties and their insurers. Since the firm’s founding, our attorneys have recovered over $100 million for accident victims in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

If you suffered an injury caused by someone else’s negligent driving, you will be provided with the following by an Oklahoma City motorcycle accident lawyer at Laird Hammons Laird Personal Injury Lawyers:

  • A free consultation to evaluate your claims and explain your legal options
  • A team with over 95 years of combined legal experience that can negotiate a fair insurance settlement
  • Aggressive and skilled trial attorneys who will take your case to court if insurers refuse to settle

Any motorcycle accident can leave riders with disabling or even fatal injuries. Do not wait to contact our Oklahoma City personal injury lawyers to discuss the injuries you suffered and the compensation we can help you pursue.

Why Do States Have Different Laws For Motorcycles?

Motorcyclists involved in crashes are 24 times more likely to suffer injury and four times more likely to die than their fellow traditional motorists. According to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, 283 motorcyclists were involved in crashes in Oklahoma City in 2021, and of these, only 47 riders — roughly 16.6% — walked away from their accidents unscathed.

For context, the city experienced 49,365 total traffic crashes that same year. About 27% of the city’s total traffic crashes caused injury or death, while 83% of its motorcycle crashes did the same on their own.

Oklahoma Motorcycle Laws

Across the country, policymakers are aware of the stark differences between motorcycle and car crashes and have thus worked to form laws that more rigorously regulate motorcycles and their operators. 

Oklahoma’s motorcycle laws generally fall into three broad categories:

Motorcycle Operator Licensing

Every state requires its resident motorcycle operators to obtain a motorcycle license or endorsement. In Oklahoma, operators over 16 can apply for a motorcycle license directly. Prospective operators between 14 and 16 must obtain a learner’s permit first and ride for at least 30 days without incurring any violations.

All applicants under 18 must also complete an approved motorcycle safety course, which teaches new operators how to handle their motorcycles and perform emergency maneuvers when they encounter any dangers on the road.

Applicants who are over 18 and have a valid driver’s license can choose between taking a safety course or passing the motorcycle exam and road test at a licensing agency or third-party testing facility. Those over 18 without a driver’s license must pass the driver’s license exam, motorcycle exam, and road test. 

Motorcycle Helmet Use

Oklahoma requires all motorcycle operators and passengers under 18 to wear helmets approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Approved helmets will include a label stating “DOT” or “DOT, FMVSS No. 218, CERTIFIED.” Novelty helmets do not satisfy the state’s requirements.

Riders who are 18 and older do not need to wear helmets, but they are still strongly encouraged to, as helmets reduce the risk of a crash-related head injury by up to 69%.

Traffic Laws For Motorcyclists

A state’s traffic laws apply to all motor vehicles, including motorcycles, but Oklahoma adds several traffic laws that apply only to motorcyclists.

First, motorcycles must meet certain equipment standards when carrying passengers. If you want to carry someone else on your motorcycle, you must have a double seat and footrests for your passenger; the rule applies regardless of the size or age of the passenger.

Second, Oklahoma prohibits lane splitting and lane filtering. These practices are legal in a few states, like California and Montana, and allow riders to ride on the lane lines between travel lanes. Oklahoma specifically restricts motorcyclists from passing vehicles traveling in the same direction by riding between lanes of traffic.

Third, Oklahoma allows motorcycles to proceed through red lights in some situations. Automated traffic lights trigger light changes by detecting large metal objects, but a motorcycle may not have enough mass to set off some sensors. Oklahoma, therefore, allows motorcyclists to proceed through red lights after stopping and ensuring that no other vehicles or pedestrians are approaching.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Experienced Oklahoma City Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

A motorcycle crash can happen even when you obey every motorcycle law in Oklahoma. Contact Laird Hammons Laird Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation if you suffer an injury in such an accident.