In a move usually reserved for stuntmen and action movies, more and more Utah motorcycles riders are engaging in an activity known as lane splitting. Lane splitting is activity where motorcycle riders use the space in between normal traffic lanes when traffic is slowed or stopped.
While some studies show that lane splitting has its benefits if done safely, lane splitting done incorrectly can be dangerous and can often lead to serious motorcycle accidents causing injury or death. Utah motorcycle laws prohibit riders from practicing lane splitting. However, two riders are allowed to travel side by side in the same lane, if both consent. More than two abreast is not allowed.
According to a University of California Berkeley report, of the 5,969 motorcycle crashes in 2013, 997 crashes were caused by motorcyclists who were engaging in lane splitting. The risk of serious injury or death on a motorcycle is nearly thirty times higher than the risk of serious injury or death in car accident, and engaging in risky behavior while operating a motorcycle only increases this chance of injury. Even when a rider wears a helmet, there is still a significant risk of injury if the rider is thrown from the motorcycle.
Utah motorcycle laws are intended to help motorcyclists enjoy safe riding in a beautiful state. Utah’s gorgeous landscape, and famous landmarks, including such destinations as the Provo Canyon, Kabab National Forest, and Wasatch-Cache National Forest, make the state a popular destination for motorcycle enthusiasts. Before you ride in Utah, be sure to familiarize yourself with the state’s motorcycle laws.
Utah motorcycle laws require all riders under the age of 18 wear helmets, on and off-road. Riders over the age of 18 are not required to wear a helmet, and there are no restrictions on the use of helmet speakers under Utah motorcycle laws. Eye protection is not required. It is important to remember and follow these regulations when riding in Utah.
Motorcycles must meet certain equipment requirements to comply with Utah motorcycle laws. State rules regulating motorcycle specifications include:
- A passenger seat and footrests are required when carrying a passenger
- At least one side view mirror is required
- Turn signals are not required
- Modulated headlights are allowed
- Radar detectors are allowed
- Handlebars below shoulder – height-maximum of 15″ above seat – required by inspection regulations
- A muffler is required, but there is no established maximum sound level
- A periodic safety inspection is required by law