Are Motorcycles Automobiles Here’s What You May Not Know

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You can safely assume that a motorcycle falls under one of the following categories: “automobile” because it’s auto propelled. But a lot of people don’t really have to think about it too much unless they’re in a technical, legal situation involving insurance or other related matters.

Although the definition of an automobile is obvious, there are many technicalities that can make it more complicated than you might think. Many wonder, after all this technicality, whether or not a motorcycle is an automobile.

Are motorcycles automobiles? A motorcycle is technically not an automobile. A road vehicle with four wheels, which can transport a few passengers, is considered an automobile. Since motorcycles only have two wheels and carry a max of one passenger, they don’t fall under the definition of “automobile.”

Getting into the particulars of something like this probably doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it can be helpful knowledge. This article can explain in further depth about why motorcycles aren’t automobiles as well as what other definitions they could be defined under.

Why They’re Not Considered An Automobile

The term automobile is frequently misunderstood. Often times it may seem like there isn’t a find line between automobile, mobile, motorized vehicle, and other related terms. You’ll see many arguments online about what exactly falls under the term “automobile” What works and what doesn’t.

It’s usually assumed that such a word simply means a machine that propels itself. This could be true for all kinds of machines, including trams and escalators. It says “The part of the term that differentiates itself is when it mentions…” “usually with four wheels” Can you? “take at least several passengers from one place to another on the road.”

A motorcycle is not an automobile because it has too many tires and can only carry a limited number of people. It can be a problem for motorcycles that have a sidecar or three-wheeled bike.

Vehicles that have four wheels can transport more passengers than cars. Jernigan and Hanover Fire Ins. have been examples of official court cases. Co. and Beeler v. Pennsylvania Threshermen & Farmers Ins. Co. that did not consider motorcycles automobiles.

The Nebraska Law Review also discusses these court cases in the same dissertation. “the term automobile in the general sense embraces all motor vehicles except motorcycles, designed for use on highways for conveyance of persons or property, and in the particular sense it includes such motor vehicles, other than motorcycles, as are intended for use on highways for carriage of persons only.”

Despite the actual meaning of automobile, many people still consider motorcycles to be one simply because it’s a self propelling machine meant for transportation. Most people will understand what you mean when you say that a motorcycle can be considered an automobile. The definition is often misunderstood, and few people really care about the details.

Why Motorcyclists Need It

It’s good to have knowledge about the actual definition of the word “automobile” It is possible to determine whether a motorcycle belongs to this category. It seems like a grey area to most people, so why is it important if a motorcycle can be considered an automobile?

Well, for the most part, it probably doesn’t matter. The term is often used interchangeably. “automobile” It can be used interchangeably by anyone, and is widely available. There is one situation where it is important to know if a bike is an automobile or not. It usually applies to legal matters.

In legal matters such as insurance, it is easy to get very picky about the definition of automobile and whether or no motorcycle is included. Let’s look at an example. Let’s say you had your motorcycle placed in a storage unit. Your motorcycle was one of many casualties in a large fire that broke out one night.

You had opted in with your homeowner’s insurance to have “off premises” Personal property coverage typically covers items stored in a storage facility. Your insurance states that it covers automobiles in it’s policy. It would seem that a motorcycle is an automobile. You feel that your insurance should cover the cost to replace your motorcycle.

Because the legality of insurance likes to put a strict definition on situations so they have a fine line of what they will and will Not pay for, your home owner’s insurance would likely not You should not cover your motorcycle as it is technically not an automobile. If you do not have any motorcycle insurance, you will need to rely on that.

So while, for the most part, it doesn’t matter if a motorcycle is considered an automobile or not, It does matter in a legal context. Before you assume your motorcycle is legal, make sure you read the fine print.

Difference between an Automobile and a Motor Vehicle

So if a motorcycle isn’t necessarily considered an automobile, what is the best umbrella term to use to describe a motorcycle? The term “motor vehicle” When using interchangeable words, it is probably your best option.

Motor vehicle definition is different than automobile. According to the United States Department of Justice “the word motor vehicle includes road vehicles, such as automobiles, vans, motorcycles, and trucks, as well as off-road vehicles such as self-propelled construction and farming equipment.”

Motor vehicle can be used to refer to any machine that moves a person from one place to another. This category includes motorcycles.

What’s the difference between an automobile, and a motor car? The term motor vehicle does not refer to only four-wheeled vehicles as the term automobile. It does not specify how many passengers are needed to make it as such. A Person from one place to the next.

So if you ever sign a contract that discusses motor vehicles rather than automobiles, your motorcycle should be covered under that term since it’s much more broad and entails really anything that can go on the road.

Automobile Laws

One thing that’s sometimes confused among motorcyclists is the laws they have to keep while on the road. And now that we’ve covered the fact that motorcycles are not considered automobiles, that means they don’t have to follow the same rules as them, right?

You’ll have to remember that an automobile is a type of motorized vehicle (and so are motorcycles). Although they might not be the exact same type of vehicle, all motorized vehicles are subject to road and street rules. Motorbikes must follow all traffic laws.

This means motorcycles are not permitted to park on the sidewalk or on the striped lines in a parking lot just like any other type of vehicle isn’t permitted to do so. If a motorcycle violates any traffic laws, such as running a red light or exceeding the speed limit, they’re just as likely to get a traffic ticket.

As with all motor vehicles, motorcycles are required to have liability insurance and be registered. You must have the license plate visible, as well as blinkers and headlights.

Motorcycles are not allowed to break the law of the road. Such exceptions may include lane splitting and being able to proceed through a red light if the light doesn’t seem to register that a motorcyclist is there. See my other article to learn more about the laws motorcycles must abide by.

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