An Overview Of Motorcycle Laws In Ohio

If you own a bike in Ohio, you are responsible for familiarizing yourself with the motorcycle laws. These rules are put in place not only for your protection, but also for the protection of anyone who is a passenger.

Know and follow Ohio motorcycle laws.Helmets – All persons under the age of 18 or those who have a license that designates them as a “novice” rider are required to wear a helmet. As a passenger, if your driver is required to wear a helmet, so are you, regardless of your age.

Eye Protection – Operators and passengers alike are mandated to wear eye protection, unless the bike is equipped with a windscreen.

Insurance – Ohio motorcycle laws require that you carry insurance on your bike. At a minimum, you must have liability coverage, which protects you in the event that you injure someone else with your bike.

Statute of Limitations – If you’ve been involved in an accident, the statute of limitations is two years. Generally, this means you cannot bring a suit against someone if the accident occurred more than two years ago. This is to insure that claims are filed promptly, while witnesses memories are fresh and evidence is easily obtainable. It is important to speak with a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after a crash. An attorney can begin collecting and preserving evidence, locating and interviewing witnesses, and building the foundation for a successful claim.

Passengers –  If a passenger is on your bike, you must have a passenger seat as well as a footrest.

There are a several areas in which no restrictions exist. These include the age of the passenger, helmet speakers, and radar detectors.

Believe it or not, motorcycle laws state that your bike does not need to have a turn signal if it was manufactured before 1968. However, this does not mean that you are exempt from using hand signals. Always bear in mind that as a biker, you are less visible than a car or truck, making you more vulnerable. When you use a signal, you make yourself more visible to everyone around you so that you are less likely to be involved in an accident.

This list is not comprehensive. For more information, download the Digest of  Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws and the supplemental Motorcycle Operator Manual provided by the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

2 comments on “An Overview Of Motorcycle Laws In Ohio

  1. Although it isn’t required, we motorcyclists. Should carry as much UN & Under ins. as you can. Thanks for the reminders on the law. ….Jim

  2. Great point, Jim!

    In Ohio, you can buy UM/UIM/UMPD coverage up to the amount of liability coverage you have purchased. (You may not protect yourself with more coverage than you buy to protect other drivers.)

    UM – Uninsured Motorists coverage pays claims for injuries to you and your passengers if a driver without insurance hits you.

    UIM – Under-Insured Motorists coverage pays claims for injuries to you or your passengers if a driver without enough insurance hits you. (Also known as “gap” insurance.)

    UMDP – Uninsured motorists property damage coverage is also available in Ohio and protects you against losses resulting in damage to your vehicle caused by an uninsured driver. (Not generally needed if you already have collision coverage.)

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