The days are getting warmer as we get closer and closer to those summer months, and that means motorcycles will be out and about. We appreciate motorcycle riding here at McLane & McLane, because our attorneys and their families are avid riders themselves (Abbe even has vintage artwork from the Harley Davidson Archives hanging in the office). Riding a motorcycle is incredibly enjoyable, but many safety precautions need to be taken to prevent personal injury, both as good sense and under Massachusetts Law.

For instance, Massachusetts requires both operators and passengers to wear protective headgear (helmet) that meets the DMV standards. This differs from Connecticut, which does not require wearing a protective helmet. In fact, only nineteen states require all motorcyclists to wear helmets. In Massachusetts, the protective headgear law applies to passengers in a sidecar as well. Also, Massachusetts requires that if the motorcycle being operated does not have a windshield, the operator has to wear eye glasses, goggles or a protective face shield.

One of the most fun aspects of riding is taking a long day trip with a group of other riders. Massachusetts has laws about this, too. When riding, you cannot have a passenger on your motorcycle unless the motorcycle is specifically built to carry additional passengers, and while in a group, no more than two motorcycles may be side by side, they may not pass another vehicle in the same lane unless it is a motorcycle and when passing, they must do so single file.

Riders are trained from their initial riding course that motor vehicle operators are not specifically looking for motorcycles, but rather, out of habit, are looking for other motor vehicles in their blind spot or oncoming traffic. This puts motorcycle operators at a disadvantage, despite the fact that they are already exposed being on a bike. It is good practice to ride defensively and anticipate actions of other drivers on the road.

In the event of an injury due to a motorcycle accident, be sure that you get medical attention immediately. If the injury is due to another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to recover damages, and you should consult with our personal injury attorneys here at McLane & McLane.

Ryan and Abbe in front of the Harley Davidson artwork in the office. This photo was taken on “National Wear Red Day” in 2017, which is a campaign established by the American Heart Association.