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Arizona laws that define what sort of two-wheeled vehicles share the road with other drivers can be confusing. However, the laws exist to keep us all safe on Arizona roadways, as more and more people get on the road operating bicycles, motor bikes, mopeds, and motorcycles for their fuel efficiency. Let’s review the different categories of two-wheeled vehicles you might operate or encounter on the roadway:
If operating a bicycle at nighttime, you are required by Arizona law to have a rear red reflector and a front white headlight. Bicyclists under the age of 18 are required by law of both Pima County and the City of Phoenix to wear a helmet. Other legal requirements for cyclists include using hand signals for turns or riding as close as practicable to the right-hand curb.
Of course, exceptions exist. For instance, cyclists may ride no more than two abreast in a lane of traffic, but they cannot unnecessarily slow traffic down by doing so. For motorists out there, don’t forget that Arizona law requires a minimum of three feet clearance when passing a cyclist! In fact, five feet is the recommended distance (mandatory for trucks), but three feet won’t get you a ticket of $500 to $1,000.
Motorcycles are considered a much more powerful vehicle and, therefore, require a specific type of license–a Class M operator’s license–which may require both a written test and a performance skills test after a period holding an instruction permit.
You can take a state-approved safety course instead of the skills test, but you cannot carry passengers or drive at night while training for your actual Class M license. Arizona law requires liability coverage for operating a motorcycle with minimum coverage defined in statute–$15,000 per person injured in an accident with $30,000 coverage per accident as well as $10,000 in property damage. Like passenger vehicles, motorcycles require registration with the state and proof of title, unlike bicycles or motorized bicycles.
Mopeds only require the regular Class D operator’s license to operate, but watch out: the minute you rev your engine and travel over 25 miles per hour, you are riding a full-blown motorcycle. Remember that a motorcycle requires a separate type of license and proof of title, which mopeds do not. Registration for mopeds only requires a decal, a process determined by rule of the Arizona Department of Transportation. Like motorcycles, a moped does require minimum liability insurance coverage.
Severity Of Bicycle Injuries After An Accident
Bicycle riders who are injured due to an accident with a car can suffer fractures, broken bones, and scrapes and contusions, which can result in expensive hospital bills that place an extreme financial burden on families, especially if the victim isn’t able to work. Serious, life-threatening injuries can also be sustained, which can result in costly medical bills. The severity of most bicycle accident injuries is simply due to the fact that bicyclists are much less physically protected from harm. In addition to death, bicycle-related injuries can result in severe injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries can last months, years, or even a lifetime.
- Spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries can lead to complete or incomplete paralysis in the form of quadriplegia, which affects all four limbs; paraplegia, which affects the lower limbs only; and a host of other immobility impairments.
- Loss of limbs. Losing limbs are also life-changing events that may require victims to go through rehabilitation to learn how to use prosthetic devices and affect the overall quality of life for the victim and his or her family.
Experienced Phoenix Bicycle Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, the attorneys at Zinda Law Group can help you seek compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.
Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our Phoenix bicycle accident lawyers. Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.