Florida Laws That Can Play a Role in Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
Although motorcycles operate at high speeds on the roads of Pensacola just like cars, trucks, and other heavy vehicles, they function very differently. Riders require considerable skill and take additional risks, and for that reason, Florida lawmakers have enacted numerous special laws that apply only to motorcycles.
Pensacola injury lawyers see how these laws affect motorcycle accident claims. Some laws require bikers to take specific safety measures while other requirements are directed at those driving vehicles sharing the roads with motorcycles. If someone fails to follow the laws and that failure causes a collision or increases the severity of injuries in a motorcycle accident, the laws can impact findings of liability.
Florida Requirements Other Drivers Must Follow to Make the Roads Safe for Motorcycles
When a truck is on the road, no one questions the space the vehicle needs to operate safely. However, drivers sometimes crowd motorcycles. Florida statute §316.209 requires other drivers to give motorcycles the use of the full lane. If they fail to allow sufficient space and an accident results, Pensacola motorcycle accident lawyers can use that violation as evidence of liability. Motorists cannot pass motorcycles the same way they would a bicycle.
Other motorists are also required to watch for motorcycles on the road. If they give only a cursory glance before pulling away from a curb, for instance, and fail to spot a motorcycle coming toward them, they could be liable for careless driving in violation of Florida statute §316.1925.
Rules Motorcyclists are Expected to Follow in Florida
Because bikers have a lot less to protect them when they are in an accident, injuries can be much more severe than in car accidents or truck accidents with other enclosed vehicles. The numerous laws applicable to motorcyclists include requirements for certain gear as well as operating standards.
Examples of these laws include:
- Riders must wear approved eye protection (316.211(2))
- Motorcycles must be equipped with brakes on the front and rear wheels (316.261)
- Handlebars may not be higher than the rider’s shoulders (316.2095)
- Headlights must be turned on while on public streets (316.405(1))
- Riders are required to wear helmets unless they are at least 21 and have sufficient insurance (316.211)
Some rules are specific only to motorcycles because they would not make sense for other vehicles. For instance, provisions in statute 316.209 referenced above prohibit motorcycles from riding between lanes or riding more than two abreast.
If a motorcyclist violates these laws are they automatically liable for injuries that result? Attorneys know that the answer depends on the situation and whether the violation contributed to the cause of the accident or increased the severity of injuries.
Searcy Denney Can Help You Recover After a Motorcycle Accident
The bottom line is that violations of motorcycle laws can make it easier or more challenging to recover after a motorcycle accident—it all depends on the circumstances. Because Florida follows a comparative negligence rule, a biker’s contributions to the severity of an accident will not automatically bar them from pursuing relief from others at fault for the accident.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, it is a good idea to talk to Pensacola motorcycle accident lawyers as soon as possible while it is easiest to collect evidence. We will evaluate your claim and help pursue your options for recovering compensation. All consultations are free and confidential.