Mark Roman | November 27, 2020 | Motorcycle Accidents
Florida is a great state to own a motorcycle. The weather is fantastic most of the time, and there are plenty of beautiful, scenic roads for riders to enjoy. The low maintenance cost and fuel efficiency can make driving a motorcycle much more practical in some of Florida’s largest cities.
However, there are dangers and risks associated with driving a motorcycle. Individuals may want to consider these factors when deciding whether to purchase a motorcycle or a passenger vehicle.
Upkeep and Maintenance
As with any motor vehicle, you need to maintain a motorcycle to keep it operating at top performance. Depending on the motorcycle, maintenance and upkeep could be expensive. Some motorcycles require more frequent tune-ups and maintenance than other models.
Also, tires can be expensive to replace on a motorcycle. Depending on the riding style, you might need to replace the motorcycle tires after 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Maintaining motorcycle tires can reduce the risk of some types of motorcycle crashes.
Motorcycle Insurance and License Requirements in Florida
Riders are required to obtain a motorcycle endorsement. They must have a regular Class E driver’s license and complete a motorcycle safety course to obtain the endorsement.
Florida motorcycle insurance is not required to register a motorcycle. The no-fault insurance laws do not apply to motorcyclists. Motorcyclists are not required to buy Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance as required for passenger vehicles.
If a motorcyclist causes a traffic accident, the rider is financially responsible for injuries and property damage caused by the accident. The rider has three choices to meet the financial responsibility requirement for motorcyclists:
- Purchase liability insurance coverage from a licensed Florida insurance carrier ($10,000/$20,000 bodily injury and $10,000 property damage)
- Obtain a Self-Insurance Certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility
- Post a surety bond or depositing cash or securities to obtain a Financial Responsibility Certificate
Most riders purchase a liability insurance policy. Riders could be required to buy liability insurance for three years if they cause an accident while uninsured. Otherwise, their license and tag could be suspended.
Motorcycle Safety Equipment and Gear
The cost of motorcycle safety equipment and gear is also a factor to consider when choosing to ride a motorcycle.
All riders and passengers under the age of 21 years must wear a motorcycle helmet. The helmet must comply with Federal Motorcycle Vehicle Safety Standard 218.
However, riders and passengers over the age of 21 years can ride without a motorcycle helmet. They must have an insurance policy that provides for at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries caused by a motorcycle crash.
Even though riders 21 years of age and older can choose not to wear a motorcycle helmet, they must wear eye protection when driving a motorcycle.
Protective clothing and shoes are also recommended to reduce the risk of injury in a motorcycle accident. Leather jackets and pants can help reduce the risk of some injuries. Special riding suits and clothing with padded areas can also reduce the risk of some motorcycle accident injuries.
Risk of Injury in Motorcycle Accidents
During 2019, 8,895 motorcycle accidents in Florida resulted in 550 motorcycle fatalities. Motorcyclists have a 28 percent higher risk of death per miles driven compared to other motorists. One of the reasons is that a motorcycle does not offer any protection for the rider during a collision.
The metal frame of a passenger vehicle, along with seat belts and airbags, helps protect occupants from injuries during a crash. A rider receives the full force of the impact from another vehicle.
The impact of a crash can cause catastrophic injuries for a motorcyclist. Motorcycle accident injuries can include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord damage
- Multiple broken bones
- Lacerations and abrasions
The financial and non-economic damages caused by a motorcycle accident can be significant. If a rider sustains a permanent disability, the future damages could total millions of dollars of a person’s lifetime.
Motorcycle accidents can be complicated. Riders might want to seek legal advice from a motorcycle accident lawyer to protect their right to fair and just compensation for damages.
Motorcyclists are not subject to Florida’s no-fault insurance laws. Therefore, they do not need to prove that their injuries meet the serious injury threshold for filing a personal injury lawsuit. A motorcyclist injured in a crash can file a claim against the other driver for damages.
Because Florida does not require motorists to carry liability insurance, it could be difficult to collect on a personal injury claim from an uninsured driver. Motorcyclists may want to consider carrying uninsured motorist coverage to protect themselves.
Even if the driver has insurance, it may not be sufficient to compensate the rider for all damages. Underinsured motorist coverage could compensate the rider for damages if the other driver’s insurance is insufficient.
Riders who take steps to protect themselves from injuries and liability might decide that the cost of a motorcycle outweighs the joy of riding a motorcycle.
Contact the Clearwater Motorcycle Accident Law Firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact the legal team of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Clearwater. We have five convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
2360 Congress Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33763
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
6601 Memorial Hwy Suite 202
Tampa, FL 33615
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
2515 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL, 34655