Iowa Motorcycle Laws: 3 Things to Know Before Getting On a Bike

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Posted by Pressley Henningsen

There’s nothing like riding Iowa’s highways and back roads on a motorcycle.  Whether riding alone, or with friends, it’s important to always follow Iowa’s motorcycle laws.  Here are 3 things every Iowa rider should know before they hop on their motorcycle:

Iowa Motorcycle Helmet Law — Not Required, but Encouraged

Iowa is one of a handful states that does not require a motorcycle rider to wear a helmet.  Additionally, riders and passengers are not required to wear eye protection while on a motorcycle in Iowa.

Although Iowa law does not require you to wear protective gear, we recommend that you always do.  If you are involved in a motorcycle crash, this gear can save your life.  Riders are more likely to suffer traumatic brain injuries and other life-threatening problems from a crash, especially if they fall off their motorcycle during the accident.  Wearing a helmet and eye protection will lower your chance for serious injuries if you are in a crash.

Make sure your helmet meets safety standards by checking for a Snell Foundation sticker on both the helmet and the box. The Snell organization runs safety and durability tests on helmets to make sure they can withstand a collision.  If a helmet is marked with this sticker, it has passed these tests.

Make Sure Your Motorcycle Has a Working Headlight

In Iowa, all motorcycles are required to have a head lamp on at all times.  Rest assured, if you are involved in a motorcycle collision, you will likely hear the other driver say they could not see you.  That’s why it’s important to have your headlight on at all times and in good working order.

One way to prove this is to take photos of your head lamp before and after the collision.  If you are in a crash, keep your headlight assembly, including the bulb, as evidence – even if your bike is totaled.  Your motorcycle lawyer will be able to use this as proof that your headlight was on during the crash.

Iowa Bike Riders Are Required to Have a Motorcycle License

Riding a motorcycle is very different compared to driving a car.  There are specific skills to master that are specific to riding a bike.  Because of this, the Iowa Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires you to add a motorcycle endorsement to your existing license or get a motorcycle-only driving license.  You may also get a motorcycle instruction permit if you are under 18 and want to drive a motorcycle by yourself.  You cannot operate a motorcycle legally in Iowa unless you have one of these three options.

There are a few tests you must pass to receive this endorsement.  These tests include:

  • A motorcycle knowledge test
  • A skills test
  • Vision screening

These tests will ensure that you have enough experience and ability to handle a motorcycle correctly and know how to deal with common emergencies if they arise.

Just as riding a motorcycle is different from driving a car; motorcycle crashes are different compared to regular car accidents.  If you have been hurt in a bike accident, you need an attorney who is experienced in getting Iowa bikers compensation for their injuries.  RSH Legal’s knowledgeable bike crash lawyers can help you.  Call us at 1-319-774-1534 today.

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