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Nashville Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Motorcycle Accidents > Tennessee Motorcycle Safety Laws

Tennessee Motorcycle Safety Laws


Tennessee has specific laws regarding the operation of motorcycles that all drivers and passengers must abide by while on the road. Understanding the state’s motorcycle safety laws is important to help minimize the chances of injury in an accident as well as to avoid accusations of fault if a crash occurs. At Mitch Grissim & Associates in Nashville, our dedicated team of legal professionals is here for you and your loved ones after a motorcycle accident. Call or contact the office today to schedule a free consultation.

Motorcycle Street Legal Laws

Tennessee law includes specific requirements for the motorcycle itself in order to be considered street legal. These rules include safety standards such as requirements that a motorcycle have headlights, taillights, brake lights, front and rear brakes, turn signals, two mirrors, and a horn. Additionally, a passenger is not allowed on a motorcycle unless a proper passenger seat is installed. Footrests must also be installed for the driver and passenger on a motorcycle in order to be street legal.

If the headlamp on a motorcycle is too weak to maintain visibility 300 feet ahead, Tennessee law restricts speed to 35 miles per hour. In addition, if the motorcycle does not have a windshield the operator and passenger must wear face shields, safety goggles, or glasses with impact-resistant lenses.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Tennessee also has a helmet law for motorcycles operating within the state. The law requires that all drivers and passengers on a motorcycle wear a helmet, regardless of age or experience level. The helmet must meet U.S. Department of Transportation standards, have an additional label from the Snell Memorial Foundation, be free of cracks, loose padding, frayed straps, or other defects, and fit snugly on the driver or passenger’s head. An exception is allowed for drivers 21 years old and older who are riding in a parade, funeral procession, or memorial ride.

Abiding by the helmet law is particularly important when it comes to accident claims. If a motorcycle accident victim is not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, they could be blamed for the majority of their own injuries. Under Tennessee’s modified comparative fault rule, a party only needs to be found 50 percent at fault in a crash in order to be barred from collecting any compensation for their injuries.

Recommendations on Equipment and Clothing

Finally, while Tennessee does not have specific laws regarding clothing and other equipment, they do recommend the following for motorcycle operators and passengers:

  • Wearing a snug fitting jacket
  • Wearing pants made from leather or other sturdy synthetic material
  • High, sturdy boots that cover the ankle
  • Leather or sturdy synthetic gloves
  • Hearing protection, and more.

Talk to Our Office Today

If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident, do not hesitate to call the office or contact us at Mitch Grissim & Associates today. Schedule a free claim evaluation with one of our knowledgeable Nashville personal injury attorneys now.

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