Tampa is where you should be if you love the thrill of riding bikes, whether for fun, sports, or transportation. Indeed, there is no denying the fact that riding bikes can deliver thrilling and memorable experiences, especially to adventure lovers.
Moreover, you can enjoy more fun from these experiences if you observe motorcycle safety laws and when you are riding in the right environment. Perhaps, you are already wondering where the best environment for riding your motorcycle will be. Well, you should be headed to Tampa if this is your case!
Many thanks to its near-perfect weather, the welcoming environment, and all its famous attractions, Tampa is one of the best locations to enjoy the thrill of riding your bike today. This is little wonder more motorcycle owners and lovers are trooping to the city in dozens weekly. According to recent reports by Statista, Tampa currently has about 8000 registered motorcycles in its records.
What does This Mean for Motorcyclists in Tampa?
The downside to this fascinating record is that it has increased bike traffic in the city. Consequently, bike riders in Tampa often have higher chances of motorcycle accidents than in many other cities. For example, recent Florida State traffic reports by Signal4analyticts showed that Tampa recorded 236 motorcycle accidents in 2021.
Of course, this is not a good thing, as no one would love to be involved in a motorcycle accident. So, avoiding crash situations while riding your bike is always best. However, one of the best ways to avoid getting involved in motorcycle accidents is by adhering to traffic instructions and regulations while riding. Indeed, you have first to know these laws before you can obey them. And thankfully, this article will teach you essential laws that guide motorcycle riding in Tampa.
What are the Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Tampa
Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Tampa include the following:
- Heavy traffic. As earlier mentioned, the steady influx of bike riders and other motor vehicle drivers to Tampa constitutes one of the major causes of the city’s high rate of motorcycle accidents. The logic is pretty simple. When more vehicles are on the road, the chances of one, two, or more of them crashing into each other increases.
- Unsafe lane changes. Bike riders often fall victim to accidents resulting from unsafe lane changes, especially from other drivers. For instance, assuming a truck or car driver suddenly changes lanes without first putting on their blinkers or checking their blind spots. In such cases, they will likely run into a motorcycle on their side, leading to a crash.
- Driving under the influence. Nothing is as dangerous on the road as driving under alcohol or drugs. This is because such influences reduce the driver’s cognitive abilities, making concentration difficult. It does not matter what type of vehicle you drive; drunk driving is one of the surest routes to a crash.
- Distracted driving. This is another major cause of motorcycle accidents in Tampa. It entails a driver or motorcyclist being distracted while on the wheels. Some things that can lead to distracted driving include texting while driving, talking on the phone, watching videos, reading emails, eating, selecting a playlist, and many others. Your chances of getting in an accident increase once your attention is not entirely focused on the road while driving.
What are the Laws that Guide Motorcycle Riding in Tampa?
Here are some of the motorcycle safety laws in Tampa you should know:
The City Requires Special Plates for Riders Under 21
A person under 21 can own and register motorcycles in Tampa. However, they will need to get special license plates for their bike. This unique plate makes it easier for the police and other law enforcement agencies to identify that a young rider under 21 owns the bike. So, perhaps you fall under this category of riders in Tampa. Then, you should ensure to get a special license plate for your bike.
Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Adult motorcycle riders in Tampa can wear duly approved helmets or carry insurance. This means that the city requires all motorcycle riders above the age of 21 to either wear a helmet approved by the United States Department of Transportation or carry adequate insurance.
If you go for the insurance option, you should ensure it is enough to pay the least $10,000 in medical benefits. This is in case you get involved in an accident. On the other hand, all riders under the age of 21 must wear helmets at all times.
All Motorcycles Should Always be in Good Working Order
Motorcycle laws in Tampa also require that all bikes in the city be in good workin
g order at all times. So, you should always ensure everything is fine with your bike before hitting the road.
For starters, confirm that the motorcycle horn is working fine. After that, check the brakes and other essential parts of the bike before putting it on the road. You should also attach your license plate so it does not risk falling loose or off the bike.
Indeed, maintaining optimal working conditions for your bike in Tampa will not only help you avoid legal troubles, but it will also help to maximize your biking experience.
Sharing Lanes with Other Vehicles
You should expect to share the road with many other vehicles any time you are in Tampa. Well, it will be nice to know your proper lane and how to use it on such occasions. As a motorcycle rider, you have a right to use your lane in Tampa fully. However, other vehicles enjoy the same right for their lanes too.
You are not allowed to overtake a vehicle using the same lane that the vehicle is already on. You are also not allowed to ride between rows of vehicles or lanes on the road. This is known as lane splitting, and the Tampa traffic laws do not allow it.
The No-Fault Insurance is not Applicable to Motorcycles
“No-fault insurance” is a type of insurance that caters to the medical fees of a person involved in a vehicle crash. This is regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
In Tampa, drivers of four or more wheeled vehicles are required by traffic laws to carry this insurance. However, motorcycle riders do not have to carry the coverage. Even when a rider has gotten this insurance for a passenger vehicle, it does not cover their injuries or damages if they are involved in a motorcycle crash.
Financial Responsibility Insurance Applies to Motorcycles
Indeed, Tampa traffic laws do not require motorcyclists to get no-fault insurance. However, they are expected to carry financial responsibility insurance.
In crash situations, the person at fault should provide evidence of liability insurance. Failure to show the required insurance evidence might result in the suspension of your license. It can also attract some fees and other penalties.
All Other Vehicle Traffic Rules also Apply to Motorcycles
When riding a bike in Tampa, you should know that all other vehicle traffic rules on the road apply to you too. You should obey the traffic rules guiding every other vehicle on the road. These rules include the right of way, speeding, signaling, and others. Moreover, riding your bike under alcohol or drugs is strictly prohibited.
Civil Liability Laws
The civil liability laws in Tampa allow motorcyclists who have sustained injuries or damages from a multi-vehicle accident to get compensation for their losses. This is especially if the other driver was at fault for the accident. However, you need to hire a Tampa motorcycle accident lawyer or a personal injury lawyer to maximize this window.
Moreover, the city uses a settlement system known as the comparative negligence system. This system allows you to get compensation for your motorcycle accident damages, even if you are partly at fault. But then, the judge will reduce your settlement according to the percentage of your fault for the accident.
For instance, assuming you are entitled to about $10,000 in settlement for your damages in a motorcycle accident. However, if a jury decides you are 40% responsible for the crash, you can only recover $6,000 from the settlement.
It has been established that riding motorcycles in Tampa can provide a fun and memorable experience, especially for adventure lovers. Moreover, you can optimize this experience if you learn and practice motorcycle safety laws in the city. Thankfully, this article has highlighted some of the essential motorcycle laws in Tampa and how they affect you.
Having a Tampa bike accident lawyer on your speed dial is also crucial, so they can guide you on what to do in case you get into a motorcycle accident. At Coleman Law Group, we are dedicated to catering to all your motorcycle accident and personal injury needs. So contact us now at 813-749-9981!