Iowa Motorcycle Laws

Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Iowa

Iowa Motorcycle Laws

Are you are thinking about buying a motorcycle or have plans to get your motorcycle license?

Then it is important to learn more about Iowa motorcycle laws and how they can help to prevent accidents and ensure biker safety.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), nearly 5,300 people were killed in motorcycle crashes in 2016.

This number represented an increase in motorcycle collisions by more than five percent from the previous year. In general, motorcyclists are at greater risk of serious and life-threatening injuries in a crash, as the III explains, “motorcycles are by their nature are much more susceptible to a crash than closed vehicles.”

In order to reduce accident and injury rates among motorcyclists, there are laws in place to make motorcycling safer for riders. Our Iowa motorcycle accident attorneys want to provide you with more information about motorcycle laws in Iowa and how they may be applicable to you.

Motorcycle Licensing Laws in Iowa

To be eligible to ride a motorcycle lawfully in Iowa, you must have a specific motorcycle license endorsement or a motorcycle license. In other words, you are not permitted to drive a motorcycle if you only have a regular driver’s license.

In order to obtain a motorcycle endorsement on your license or a separate motorcycle driver’s license, you will need to pass three separate tests that are similar to those you might take if you are applying for a regular driver’s license to operate an automobile:

  • Motorcycle knowledge test;
  • Motorcycle skills test; and
  • Vision test.

Since motorcycles must abide by specific traffic laws and require particular knowledge about operation, it is important to consider a motorcycle safety and instruction course before you apply for your motorcycle license.

Requirements for Riding Your Motorcycle in Iowa

Under Iowa law (Iowa Code § 321.275), all of the following are requirements for operating a motorcycle:

  • Only one person per motorcycle unless the motorcycle is designed to carry more than one person;
  • If you have a motorcycle designed to carry more than one person, your “passenger” must ride either in the permanent attached seat or in another seat that has been firmly attached to the motorcycle, and the passenger must have footrests unless that passenger is riding in a sidecar;
  • Operator of a motorcycle must remain in a seated position;
  • Motorcycles cannot be operated between lanes of traffic, and only two motorcycles abreast in a single lane is permitted;
  • All motorcycles made in 1977 or after must be operated at all times with at least one lighted headlamp; and
  • Motorcycles operated on highways must have a bicycle safety flag that meets the specific requirements of Iowa law.

As you may notice, there is no helmet requirement. Although helmets are not required under Iowa law, it is extremely important for anyone riding a motorcycle to know that helmets have been proven to reduce the risk of injuries in a collision, according to the III.

Contact an Iowa Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

If you have questions about Iowa motorcycle laws or filing a claim after a crash, an experienced Iowa motorcycle accident attorney can help. 

Contact VanDerGinst Law today to learn more about how we can assist with your case.