Each state has different rules to help motorcyclists ride safely and reduce motorcycle accidents, injuries, and fatalities on the roadways. In Oklahoma, for example, you need certain equipment to ride a motorcycle, and only motorcyclists over 16 years of age may carry a passenger.
You can find all Oklahoma’s motorcycle laws in 47 O.S. § 1-135 (OSCN 2022).
How Does the State Define a Motorcycle?
The state of Oklahoma defines a motorcycle as any motor vehicle that has:
- A seat or saddle for the use of each rider
- Not more than 3 wheels in contact with the ground (excluding tractors)
- A combustion engine with a piston or rotor displacement of one hundred fifty cubic centimeters or greater
All vehicles that meet the above criteria must abide by regular traffic laws in addition to some of the special laws below:
Does Oklahoma Require a Motorcycle License?
Yes. To operate a motorcycle in Oklahoma, you need an “M” endorsement on your driver license. To get this endorsement, you must take a written test, a vision test, and a driving test or complete a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course.
If you are under 17, you must complete a Motorcycle Safety Foundation force to get an “M” endorsement. Oklahoma has special rules for those applying for motorcycle licenses between the age of 14 and 16.
Is It Illegal to Ride a Motorcycle Without a Helmet in Oklahoma?
Yes – but only for riders under age 18. Oklahoma requires motorcycle helmets for all riders under age 18. After age 18, riders may choose whether to wear a helmet.
Although it is not illegal for adults to ride a motorcycle without a helmet in Oklahoma, every motorcyclist should wear a helmet to keep themselves safe.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), wearing a motorcycle helmet reduces your risk of dying in a crash by 37 to 42%. Riders who do not wear helmets are also 3 times more likely to suffer traumatic brain injuries.
The IIHS also recommends that motorcyclists wear protective jackets, pants, gloves, and boots. Oklahoma requires some form of eye protection for all riders (a windshield, goggles, or a face shield), as well.
How Is Riding a Motorcycle Different from Driving a Car?
Motorcycles are less stable than passenger vehicles and lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle. They are also harder for other drivers to see. As such, motorcyclists are more susceptible to serious injuries and traffic fatalities. In 2019, the number of deaths on motorcycles in the U.S. was nearly 29 times the number of those in cars.
Riding a motorcycle takes more balance, coordination, and skill than operating other motor vehicles. Therefore, Oklahoma requires special licenses and safety equipment.
Otherwise, riding a motorcycle is no different from driving a car – in that both vehicles must follow the rules of the road and exercise care on the roadway. Always follow the posted speed limit, avoid riding when you are tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and avoid distractions like cell phones.
Anytime you are on the road, be mindful of other drivers. One careless action from another driver could have serious consequences for you.
Ultimately, you have the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else on the road, including the right to recover compensation if someone harms you while you are riding.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, Nichols Dixon is here to help. We cherish honesty and integrity and have a trusted reputation in the community, but most importantly, we care about you.
No one should have to suffer the consequences of another’s wrongdoing, and with our personalized strategy, you should not have to.
Call us at (405) 294-1511 or contact us online today to take the first step towards recovering medical expenses, missed wages, and other damages.