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Tampa Auto Accident Lawyers > Tampa Motorcycle Traffic Laws

Tampa Motorcycle Traffic Laws

Florida is generally considered one of the most motorcycle-friendly states in the country. And motorcyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as operators of any other motor vehicle. Of course, other motorists do not always respect those rights, which often leads to catastrophic collisions with motorcyclists who are obeying the rules of the road.

Yet even when the driver of a four-wheel vehicle is clearly at-fault, there is often an effort to cast aspersions on the motorcyclist’s driving. This is where an experienced Tampa motorcycle traffic attorney can help. Anderson & Anderson represents motorcycle accident victims seeking compensation–and justice–for crashes caused by the acts of others. Our team can review your accident, advise you if you have possibly violated any traffic laws related to motorcycles, and explain how that may affect your right to damages in a personal injury claim.

The Florida Motorcyclist’s “Rules of the Road”

While a motorcycle is just another kind of motor vehicle, Florida laws do impose certain special regulations on these two-wheeled vehicles. It is therefore important for all motorcyclists operating in the state to be aware of these rules and follow the law at all times. Some of the more critical motorcyclist rules of the road include:

  • Motorcycle Endorsement: Just having a regular driver’s license does not entitle you to legally operate a motorcycle on Florida roads. You need a specific motorcycle endorsement. Any individual over the age of 16 with a valid driver’s license can seek such an endorsement after completing a Basic Rider Course.
  • Helmets: Florida’s laws governing helmet use by motorcyclists is somewhat complicated. Anyone under the age of 21 who rides on a motorcycle–either as an operator or a passenger–must wear a helmet. Riders and passengers over the age of 21 technically do not have to wear a helmet. But anyone who opts out of wearing a helmet must carry at least $10,000 in health insurance coverage applicable to motorcycle accidents.
  • Passengers: A motorcyclist may not transport a passenger unless their motorcycle is equipped with a dedicated seat and footrest.
  • Eye Protection and Listening Devices: Helmet use may be optional for over-21 motorcyclists. Eye protection is not. Florida requires anyone operating a motorcycle to wear an approved eye-protective device such as goggles. Additionally, motorcyclists cannot wear any kind of headset or listening device–except for a hearing aid or a single earpiece connected to a cell phone–that blocks out surrounding noise.
  • Lane Splitting: Florida traffic laws forbid a motorcyclist from riding between two occupied lanes of traffic. Nor can a motorcyclist attempt to pass or overtake other vehicles between occupied lanes. Two motorcycles may, however, ride side-by-side in a single lane.

Florida is a comparative negligence state when it comes to personal injury lawsuits. A motorcyclist’s failure to follow these, or any other, traffic laws applicable to motorcycles may be used against them in civil court. This can lead to a reduction in how much compensation the injured motorcyclist receives–or in some cases bar any recovery at all.

Contact Our Tampa Motorcycle Traffic Law Attorneys Today

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident and need legal advice regarding how your own conduct may affect your rights, call our Tampa motorcycle traffic laws Attorney at Anderson & Anderson today at 813-251-0072 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.

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