Lane splitting and other Arkansas motorcycle laws

Helmeted motorcyclist driving past trees

If you ride a motorcycle in Arkansas, it is very important that you know the relevant laws. Motorcycle laws vary from state to state, so if you’re traveling across state lines, be sure you research what is legal and what is not.

Arkansas motorcycle laws

There are several laws pertaining to motorcycle riding in Arkansas. Here is a brief rundown of some of them.

  • Lane splitting: If an action is not referenced in Arkansas law, it is considered legal, unless or until it is challenged or made into law. Such is the case with motorcycle lane splitting. Lane splitting is the practice of motorcyclists driving between two lanes of traffic, close to the broken line on the roadway. To date, only California has legalized the practice.

It is considered a dangerous practice because motor vehicle drivers don’t always check their mirrors to see if there is a cyclist riding next to them. Suggestions for safer cycling between lanes include traveling at a speed no higher than 10 mph faster than other traffic, staying alert and anticipating the movements of other drivers, avoiding driving in the blind spots of other vehicles, considering the width of the lanes and the size of surrounding vehicles, and staying aware of weather and road conditions.

  • Arkansas helmet laws: There used to be an Arkansas helmet law, but it was abolished. Arkansas is one of only a few states that do not require adults 21 and older to wear a helmet. There is much debate about this issue, but one thing is for certain: those under 21 years of age are required to wear a helmet.
  • Eye protection: Arkansas law requires that all motorcycle riders wear protective eye gear.
  • Headlights: All cyclists in Arkansas must drive with their daytime headlights on. Modulating headlights are permissible.
  • Minor passengers: Children under the age of eight are not permitted to ride on the back of a motorcycle.
  • Turn signals: Strange as it might sound, turn signals are not required for Arkansas motorcyclists.

I have written about motorcycle accidents and prevention before and their most common causes. Many are the fault of other motor vehicle drivers’ negligence, but some can certainly be avoided by the cyclists themselves. Despite the law, I think it is only smart to wear a helmet, use turn signals and to not lane split. You never want to put your well-being and perhaps your life into jeopardy unnecessarily.

If you ride a motorcycle in Arkansas or in any other state, please follow the law and then some. It’s a great way to get around, it’s fun, it’s adventurous, but please, stay safe out there.

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, do give me a call to discuss your case. All consultations are free.

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Little Rock, AR 72206

Phone: 501-374-6300




The content of this blog was prepared by the Law Offices of Peter Miller, P.A. for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or provide legal advice. Laws differ by jurisdiction, and the information in this blog may not apply to you. You should seek the assistance of an attorney licensed to practice in your state before taking any action. Using this blog site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Law Office of Peter Miller, P.A. Attorney-client relationships can only be created by written contract.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons/License: WikiCreative Commons 3 – CC BY-SA 3.0

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