A Reminder of How Vulnerable Motorcyclists Can Be On Florida’s Roads

A recent motorcycle accident in the Villages in Citrus County in Central Florida reminds Florida motorcyclists and drivers alike of the dangers of operating a motorcycle in a state where many drivers are elderly and do not have the reflexes or reaction time of a younger driver when behind the wheel. According to a recent report from newspaper, the Villages News, on November 8th, a motorcycle turned into the path of a 72-year old motorist who was unable to stop her car in time to avoid colliding with the motorcycle. As a result, the motorcycle’s operator and his passenger, both of whom were wearing helmets at the time of the crash, were ejected from the motorcycle and were killed upon impact. According to a local police investigation, the elderly driver was attempting to turn left when the motorcycle crossed in front of her vehicle while attempting to complete a turn of its own. Police have not yet released any information as to which driver was at fault, but this tragedy simply highlights how important it is for both motorcyclists and motor vehicle operators on Florida’s highways to exercise extra caution when bikes are present on the roads, particularly during the holiday and snowbird season.

Florida Law Governing the Use of Motorcycles

Under Florida law, Florida motorcyclists are required to obey the same traffic laws as motor vehicles. Motorcyclists must observe all posted speed limits, stop at all stop signs and red lights, and obey all other local and state traffic safety laws and ordinances. Motorcyclists also are not permitted to travel more than two bikes across in a single lane, cannot pass an automobile in the same lane that the car is traveling in, and cannot drive between lanes of traffic. Motorcyclists also must yield to motor vehicle drivers like any other vehicle on the road if the motorcycle does not have the right of way.

Florida Laws Regulating Motor Vehicle Drivers When Motorcycles Are Present

Florida law also imposes special obligations upon motor vehicle drivers when motorcycles are present. This is because of the unique dangers of motorcycle accidents for the motorcyclists and their passengers. When another vehicle collides with a motorcycle, the motorcyclist takes the full impact of the collision. The impact often throws the rider from the motorcycle, causing even more serious injuries when the rider or a passenger then impacts the road or other immovable objects after going airborne. For instance, Florida law provides that motorcyclists are entitled to the use of a full lane even if they do not take up the same amount of space as, for example, an SUV might. Therefore, Florida drivers are prohibited from attempting to pass a motorcycle in the same lane or otherwise treating a motorcycle any differently than any other motor vehicle. Accordingly, if a car’s driver attempts to pass a motorcycle in the same lane the bike is traveling rather than changing lanes to do so, the car’s driver would be violating Florida law. The same would be true if the driver of the motor vehicle attempted to, or did, cut off a motorcycle where the motorcycle had the right of way.

Contact The Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys of Schwed, Adams, Sobel & McGinley if You Have Been Involved in a Motorcycle Accident in Florida

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Florida, contact the experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at the law firm of Schwed, Adams, Sobel & McGinley, P.A. today. We have achieved great success in representing clients in collisions caused by motorists who were not taking proper precautions as required by Florida law when motorcyclists were present during our firm’s attorneys’ 150 combined years practicing law. Contact us today at (877) 694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com for a free consultation regarding your situation.

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