Maryland Motorcycle Laws

Maryland motorcycle laws are similar to the those in surrounding states, but it is important to be fully aware of what is expected of motorcycle riders in the state of Maryland, in order to avoid both injury and unnecessary legal trouble. Motorcycle accidents can often be very serious and cause everything from broken bones to more permanent injuries such as those to the spine and head. With this in mind it’s important to know what responsibilities motorcycle drivers have both to the law and to other drivers and to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer if an accident involving a motorcycle does occur.

Unique Aspects of Motorcycle Law

Generally, the traffic laws apply the same to motorcycles as they do to other motor vehicles. However, there may be some additional restrictions on motorcycles, such as helmets, that do not apply to operators of motor vehicles. Anyone who chooses to operate a motorcycle in the State of Maryland should familiarize themselves with the rules of the road and comply with set rules and laws in Maryland.

The operation of a motorcycle can be seriously dangerous based upon the different safety materials that vary from a standard motor vehicle.

What Motorcycle Equipment Is Required in Maryland?

While traveling through Maryland, you must adhere to the following  requirements in order to avoid fines:

    • Approved headgear
    • Eye protection (required unless there is a windscreen on the motorcycle)
    • Muffler (where the sound level is not allowed to be above the original specifications of the manufacturer)
    • Passenger footrest and seat (required if carrying a passenger)
    • Turn signals and two mirrors (left and right)
    • Driving with not more than two abreast in a single lane, side by side
    • A class E license and proper insurance

The following items either are not required or are prohibited for motorcyclists in the state of Maryland:

    • Daytime use of headlights (not required)
    • Earplugs (prohibited)
    • Lane splitting: passing a vehicle in the same lane as that vehicle is driving in, or driving between lanes (prohibited)

Helmet Use in the State of Maryland

While Maryland motorcycle law requires motorcyclists to wear a helmet, it also states that a person’s failure to wear a helmet is not to be considered in determining negligence or contributory negligence, or in reducing the damages that may be paid to the rider in the event of accidents.

Motorcycle Safety Course

Maryland offers a motorcycle safety program for riders. While it is not a requirement for all motorcycle riders in Maryland, this (or an alternate course) is required of all riders under the age of 18 who wish to obtain a motorcycle license. Completion of the program may also lead to lower car insurance rates. In order to participate, a rider does not need to own a motorcycle but must have either a valid license or learner’s permit, parental consent if under age 18, and appropriate protective clothing. Participation also requires a course registration fee. Completion of this course will not guarantee safer driving, but it will increase the likelihood of the rider following proper precautions while operating a motorcycle.

Laws Regarding Other Motor Vehicles

The legislature has distinguished the different types of motor vehicles, meaning motor scooters versus motorcycles, based on the size and power of the engine. Anyone who chooses to operate any of these types of motor vehicles should familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations of the road and make sure to comply with those rules of their specific vehicle.

Anyone involved in a motor vehicle collision involving a scooter or motorcycle and has been injured due to the negligence of another has the right to compensation for their injury. They should consult with an experienced injury attorney who can advise the injured person as to their rights of recovery.

When Should I Seek the Advice of a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

Motorcycle safety and obedience to traffic laws is an important part of riding a motorcycle. Whether your experience is twenty years or twenty days, understanding state motorcycle laws is a necessity for riding in Maryland. Therefore if you’ve been injured while riding a motorcycle, or by a motorcycle as the result of someone else’s negligence it may be in your best interest to reach out to a motorcycle injury lawyer who can help you get compensation for your injuries.