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Low Speed Vehicle Accidents In Tampa Florida
Florida is no stranger to car accidents with over 400,000 crashes in 2019. A portion of those accidents involves vehicles which are classified as “low speed vehicles” (LSV). Low speed vehicles are defined as four wheeled vehicles that do not reach above 25 miles per hour, and their total weight does not exceed 3,000 pounds. You can often see these vehicles being used for yard work, meter maids, campus security, grounds work, and more. Typically, these vehicles are branded with an orange and red triangle to make other drivers aware of their special classification.

Golf Carts in Florida

In Florida there is some confusion over whether golf carts are considered LSVs. Golf carts are defined by Florida law as vehicles designed for use on golf courses. Golf carts achieve a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour. In addition to slightly slower speed, golf carts also lack many of the safety features commonly found in LSVs. Consequently, golf carts in Florida are normally illegal to be driven on Florida roads without modification.

Registering Your Low Speed Vehicle in FL

Many states have their own rules and regulations for low speed vehicles. Florida is no different. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles states that LSVs must be registered, titled and insured with personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL) insurance. Any person operating an LSV must have a valid driver license. LSVs may only be operated on streets where the posted speed limit is 35 MPH or less. To register one, you have to bring the following documents to your local Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle office or tax collector office:

  • Manufacturer’s certificate of origin
  • Form HSMV 82040
  • Proof of Florida insurance, minimum $10,000 PDL and $10,000 PIP
  • Identification- driver’s license, ID card, and or passport
  • Payment for applicable fees
    • Title fee
    • Plate fee
    • Initial registration fee
    • Registration fee (varies by weight of vehicle)

Florida law concerning golf carts states that they may be operated on roadways that are designated for golf carts with a posted speed limit of 30 MPH or less. Golf carts are not titled or registered. Golf carts not required to be insured in Florida with PIP and PDL coverage.

The Dangers of Low Speed Vehicles in Tampa Bay Neighborhoods

Low speed vehicles can be exceptionally dangerous since they do not have the safety features of standard cars and trucks. LSVs offer little physical protection or safety features in accidents. As a result, serious injuries or even death is possible when LSVs collide with cars or trucks on Florida roads. In Panama City, FL there was a recent accident where an 18 year old woman was struck and killed by a truck while operating a LSV. In Jackson County Florida five passengers were riding in an LSV when they drove over an embankment and overturned. (resulting in one death). Sadly, there are plenty of other stories in Florida involving LSVs (and golf carts). In short, everyone needs to be extra careful when operating or driving around low speed vehicles.

Sharing the Road Respectfully

When driving in a normal car or truck, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. If you find yourself behind or adjacent to a golf cart or a low speed vehicle, then you should take proper precautions since you are in a safer position.

  • Keep a safe distance away in case the golf cart or low speed vehicle suddenly stops. In certain situations, you might consider turning on your hazard lights to alert other drivers behind and/or around you.
  • Even if a golf cart or LSV is driving very slow, do not try to immediately pass or overtake the LSV at a high speed.
  • If you are on a two lane road or parking lot with limited space, use hand gestures to get the other driver’s attention so he or she knows what you are trying / intending to do in your vehicle.
  • Be extra careful on two lane roads in neighborhoods or golf course communities where there are curves and blind spots.
  • Remember to be careful / considerate during thunderstorms and other common weather events in Florida.

Franco Law is Here to Help

If you or a loved one was recently involved in an accident involving one or more “low speed vehicles,” then we have the experience to help you. We understand that accidents in Florida are very stressful, and we promise to do our best to represent your legal rights. Franco Law Group has served the Tampa Bay community for over two decades. Please let us know if we can assist you in any way. If you have any questions or would like to talk more about a recent LSV or golf cart accident in Florida, feel free to contact us at (813) 873-0180.

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