What Are the Motorcycle Safety Laws in Virginia?

If you were injured due to someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Contact one of our experienced lawyers at (757) 244-7000 for legal advice and representation.

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Virginia is an amazing place to enjoy motorcycling. There is an incredible feeling when you ride across the state that can only be shared by other motorcyclists.

While motor vehicles have a duty to watch for you on the road, a negligent driver can cause a catastrophic motorcycle accident that may rob you of that feeling forever.

At the Smith Law Center, we believe every motorcyclist has a right to the road and to experience the beauty of Virginia without the threat of careless drivers. When the worst happens, our dedicated motorcycle accident attorneys will fight aggressively for the compensation you deserve.

Call and schedule a free assessment of your case by clicking here or calling (757) 244-7000.

What Are the Virginia Motorcycle Laws?

Like car and truck drivers, motorcycle riders must follow certain laws set by the state to ensure the roads remain safe for everyone. Some important laws to know under the Code of Virginia include:

In addition, there are specific Virginia motorcycle requirements every bike must meet. Riders and their passengers must also wear safety gear, including a helmet and eye protection. A rider must also be aware of the helmet requirements and helmet regulations.

What Are the Virginia Motorcycle Requirements?

Virginia motorcycle requirements are detailed in the above links. All motorbikes must have:

Motorcycles are also required to pass an annual safety inspection.

What Are Virginia’s Helmet Requirements?

As stated above, all motorcyclists and their passengers are required to wear specific safety gear. According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, passengers only need to wear a helmet. However, operators of the motorcycle must wear:

  • Shatterproof, scratch-resistant, and well-ventilated eye protection in the form of:
    • Goggles
    • Glasses with plastic or safety lenses
    • Helmet with a face shield
    • Bike with windshield
  • Headgear that meets or exceeds the helmet regulations set forth by:
    • The federal Department of Transportation (DOT), which has four tests for the legal minimum standard a helmet must pass:
      • Impact test
      • Penetration test
      • Retention strap test
      • Peripheral vision test
    • The Snell Memorial Foundation Certification (SMF), which has stricter testing, including:
      • Impact test
      • Roll-off test
      • Dynamic retention test
      • Chin bar impact test
      • Two distinct penetration tests
    • The American National Standards Institute, Inc (ANSI), which certifies general sports and work helmets but does not have any specific certification for motorcycle helmets

Helmets go through rigorous testing for each certification listed above. It can be challenging for motorcyclists to choose the right helmet for them. One helmet may be certified by the DOT but fail certification by the Snell Foundation.

Reviewing the helmet regulations can help protect motorcyclists from purchasing inferior headgear. Whichever helmet you choose, make sure it has one of the above certifications listed.

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A male motorcyclist looks out through his helmet’s windshield while sitting on a bike with safety lights on as the sun goes down.

How Does the Virginia Motorcycle Helmet Law Affect My Claim?

Unfortunately, many injured motorcycle riders feel they will not be able to file a claim if they were not following all of the Virginia motorcycle requirements or helmet requirements. That is not the case.

If you were not wearing a helmet in your accident, that does not take away your right to recover damages for your injuries.

However, the lack of a helmet may be used against you:

  • An insurance adjuster may pressure you into accepting a lower offer than you deserve
  • An insurance company may deny your claim, forcing you into a difficult appeals process

It is crucial to have a highly skilled attorney by your side to overcome any hurdles in your claim. At the Smith Law Center, our motorcycle collision lawyers will make sure the focus of your accident remains on your injuries and how they have affected your day-to-day life. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the last reporting year, motorcycle injuries increased by 2%, totaling over 84,000 riders. The most common injuries include:

Expressing the pain and suffering of a person is one of the most challenging aspects of any personal injury claim. Pain is not something someone can see, like a medical bill or a damaged motorcycle. Our attorneys are exceptionally skilled at presenting your pain in such a way that an otherwise healthy person can understand. When you have suffered serious trauma from a motorcycle crash due to a negligent motorist, you need our motorcycle accident attorneys to stand up for what is right.

What if I Lost a Loved One in A Motorcycle Accident?

Some causes of motorcycle accidents can be fatal. According to the Insurance Information Institute reports:

  • Motorcycle riders are 29 times more likely to be killed than passenger car occupants
  • 14% of all traffic fatalities are motorcyclists or their passengers

If you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, our compassionate attorneys are here to hold negligent parties accountable. When careless motorists cause deadly motorcycle accidents, families are left devastated.

We understand no amount of compensation can ease your grief. However, wrongful death claims are not filed solely for monetary gain. Wrongful death claims are also filed to hold careless people responsible and to prevent future tragedies. Any financial compensation will represent the extent of wrongdoing.

Call Smith Law Center and speak with our sensitive and dedicated wrongful death attorneys today. We can discuss the details of your case and help you and your family gain the closure you need to move on.

When you have suffered serious trauma from a motorcycle crash due to a negligent motorist, you need our motorcycle accident attorneys to stand up for what is right.

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About Smith Law Center

Our lawyers are more than lawyers. They are people who understand your injuries and the law that surrounds your options when it comes to holding others accountable.

What Compensation Can a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Recover in Virginia?

Our Virginia motorcycle accident attorneys are here to help you through this difficult time. If you have been seriously injured by an act of negligence, you deserve compensation. The most common damages we have recovered for our clients include:

  • Full compensation for medical expenses related to the accident
  • Lost wages if you are unable to work
  • Loss of future earning potential
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Possible punitive damages

It is important to speak with our motorcycle accidents lawyers to discuss which damages apply to your unique case. Even if you did not follow all of the Virginia motorcycle laws, our dedicated personal injury attorneys will fight for your right to compensation.

Close-up of the hands of a bearded motorcycle rider who has removed his safety gloves to make a phone call.

How Can the Smith Law Center Personal Injury Attorneys in Virginia Protect My Rights?

The Smith Law Center has been advocating for the rights of injury victims for more than 70 years. Our founder, Attorney Joseph Smith, opened the Smith Law Center in 1949. Now his sons, Attorneys Stephen and Howard Smith, are proud to serve Virginians who have been harmed by negligence.

As one of Virginia’s largest personal injury firms, we have the experience, skill, and resources you need to maximize your compensation. We have built our reputation on dedication, integrity, and trustworthy service. Our motorcycle accident attorneys in Virginia protect the rights of injury victims with aggressive representation.

If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident through no fault of your own, call the Smith Law Center today. Our talented litigators have a long track record of delivering results that are higher than expected. Schedule a free evaluation of your case today by clicking here or calling (757) 244-7000.


Motorcycle Safety FAQs

Is it illegal to ride a motorcycle without a helmet?

All motorcycle riders and passengers must wear a helmet in Virginia. The helmet must meet the standards set by the Snell Memorial Foundation, American National Standards Institute, Inc., and the federal Department of Transportation. In addition, motorcycle riders must wear safety glasses or goggles, a face shield, or have a bike that has a windshield.

Is it possible to "safely" crash a motorcycle?

“Safely” crashing a motorcycle refers to measures a rider can take to prevent as much bodily harm as possible. If you must go down, remember to let go of your bike, tuck your arms and legs, and aim to slide on your side. Once you think you have stopped, count to five to be sure.

What safety gear is required on a motorcycle?

Virginia requires all motorcycle riders to wear protective eyewear. Some motorcycles are equipped with a windshield or safety glass. If the bike does not have built-in protection, motorcyclists must wear a face shield, glasses, or goggles.

Am I at fault in an accident if I wasn't following all the motorcycle safety laws?

Whether you were following every motorcycle safety law or not, suffering serious injuries due to the negligent actions of another is devastating. Our motorcycle accident attorneys are here to discuss the details of your case and help you hold the responsible parties accountable. Contact the Smith Law Center today and schedule a free consultation by clicking here or calling (757) 244-7000.

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