Missouri Motorcycle Laws

There were 4,274,784 licensed drivers in Missouri in 2017, the last year for which full statistical data is available. That same year, there were 138,294 registered motorcycles in the Show Me State.

According to crash data provided by the Missouri Highway Patrol (MHP), there were 47,977 accidents involving injury and 766 resulting in death in 2014, the latest year for which MHP has made statistics available. Motorcycle accidents accounted for 2,253 of those. 89 of those accidents were fatal.

Motorcycle accidents are more likely to result in serious or fatal injury due to a lack of protection. Safe driving habits and adequate gear are two incredibly useful ways to protect yourself, but even following all of Missouri’s motorcycle laws, driving cautiously, and wearing protective gear can’t always prevent injury. If you are injured while riding. Call us at 314-333-3333 to schedule your complimentary consultation at our St. Louis office today.

Missouri Motorcycle Safety Equipment Regulations

In the state of Missouri, all motorcycle operators and passengers must wear a helmet while the vehicle is in motion. A shatter-resistant face shield or similarly strong goggles are also required. These items can help protect the eyes from watering and debris. A full face shield will also protect the face from rocks and other objects.

You are not required to wear protective clothing, but it is highly recommended. MDOT recommends:

  • Leather jackets and pants
  • Leather boots
  • Leather gloves

Often referred to generally as “motorcycle leathers,” these pieces of protective gear can help prevent road rash and lesions in the case of an accident. They may also provide an extra level of cushion between your body and the ground during a collision.

Protective gear can reduce the severity of an injury, but may not prevent harm entirely. When you sustain an injury in a motorcycle accident in Missouri, you may be entitled to seek compensation for all of your damages. The St. Louis motorcycle accident lawyers at Brown & Brown are here to review your case free of charge and help you determine the most effective way forward.

Top Motorcycle Safety Tips Infographic

What is “Street Legal” for a Motorcycle in Missouri?

For a motorcycle to be legally operational in Missouri, it must have at a minimum:

  • A running headlight
  • Operational taillight and brake light
  • Turn signals
  • Horn
  • Front and rear brakes
  • Two mirrors

These component parts are necessary to make a motorcycle legal for operation on Missouri streets and highways. They are not enough, even with protective gear, to prevent an accident. This is where your behaviors come into play.

The best way to prevent injury is to drive defensively and avoid an accident in the first place. This includes:

  • Remaining visible. A majority of motorcycle accidents occur when the drivers of passenger vehicles cannot see or hear a motorcycle
  • Maintain a gap. Keep a distance of two to three car-lengths between yourself and those in front of you. Constantly scan the road in front of you for dangers
  • Communicate. Use turn signals, brakes, and your horn to signal intent and notify other drivers of what you are doing
  • Stay sober. Avoid alcohol, drugs, and prescription medications that can alter your behavior
  • Be aware. Stay alert and pay attention. The best way to avoid an accident is to anticipate one as an inevitability and drive with the intention of avoiding it

Following Injury

If you are injured while riding a motorcycle in Missouri, Brown & Brown may be able to help you recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and personal pain and suffering. Call us at 314-333-3333 to schedule a free consultation at our St. Louis office today.

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