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Tucson Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Arizona Bicycle Types and Laws 

Knowledge of the law does not simply keep you safe, while riding any of the above-mentioned vehicles. Pay special attention to the law as it pertains to the vehicle you typically drive, but also know a little about the law regarding the vehicles you may encounter regularly on the roadway. In the event of an accident on Arizona roadways, knowledge of the law may be able to either prove the liability of the at-fault party or help keep you from contributing your own negligence to an incident. Remember, if someone breaks a law designed to protect other operators and passengers on Arizona roadways, then he or she unquestionably breached a duty to you and other drivers. If that breach led to a wreck that injured you or a loved one, then the offending driver is automatically liable for the damage caused. If you or a loved one has been injured while operating a bicycle, motorcycle, or other vehicle on Arizona roadways, call the experienced Bicycle Accident Lawyers at Zinda Law Group PLLC to know your rights and have justice restored.

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:

Bicycles –   Arizona law requires a rear red reflector and a front white headlight, if operating a bicycle at nighttime. Bicyclists under the age of 18 are required by law of both Pima County and the City of Tucson to wear a helmet. Arizona law, in addition to the responsibilities of other drivers on the road, gives a few more requirements to cyclists, such as 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 – Motorcycles are considered a much more powerful vehicle and, therefore, require a specific type of license (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, however, 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). Motorcycles are vehicles, like an automobile, that require registration with the state and proof of title, unlike bicycles or motorized bicycles. 

Mopeds – 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 mph, 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, scrapes and contusions which can result in extensive hospital bills, placing 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 a lifetime. 
  • Spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries can lead to complete or incomplete paralysis in the form of quadriplegia (which affect 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.


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