Florida Motorcycle Laws
Each state has its own rules and restrictions governing motorcycle riders. Before you ride in the Sunshine State, make sure you understand the rules governing such subjects as the safety gear you’re required to wear, the modifications you’re allowed to make to your bike, and the rules on minimum insurance coverage.
Don’t let insurers keep you from getting the money you’re owed after a Florida motorcycle accident
Even riders with robust insurance policies often need help getting compensated after a motorcycle accident. Motorcycle insurance policies do not operate the same way as passenger vehicle policies as they do not follow Florida’s no-fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) system.
Many insurers assume that the motorcycle rider must have been at fault for the crash and are reluctant to pay riders what they’re owed for their injuries. If you’ve been hurt in a Florida motorcycle accident, there are attorneys who can help you overcome these unfair assumptions and get you the money you deserve. Get help from the knowledgeable, trial-ready Florida motorcycle crash attorneys at Meldon Law. Our seasoned team of attorneys won’t give up until justice is done in your case. Contact the Meldon Law offices today for a free evaluation of your claim.
What are the laws you need to know before you ride in Florida?
Helmets: Florida has an uncommon approach to helmet laws. All riders under 21 are required to wear a helmet while on a motorcycle. However, once riders are over 21, the law gets a little more nuanced. Adult riders can skip wearing a helmet, so long as they carry a minimum amount of insurance. For riders who are over 21, helmets are optional so long as the rider carries at least $10,000 in medical insurance benefits. Florida’s universal helmet law was repealed in 2000. While helmets are optional for those over 21, they’re not a bad idea; motorcycle fatalities rose by 81% since the repeal of the universal helmet law in Florida, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Riders can’t wear any sort of listening device in or over the ear while riding. The exception to this rule is that riders may wear hearing aids or other devices used to improve hearing.
Eye protection: All Florida riders are required to wear eye protection. If the cab of the motorcycle is enclosed, eye protection is no longer required.
All Florida motorcycle riders must have a motorcycle endorsement or a “motorcycle only” license in order to ride in the state. New motorcyclists are required to take the state-run Florida Rider Training Program’s Basic RiderCourse or Basic RiderCourse updated before they can get a motorcycle endorsement. The rider must obtain their license within one year of taking the Basic Rider Course. Riders must be age 16 or older to obtain a motorcycle-only license or endorsement. Florida will reciprocate motorcycle endorsements from almost every other state, but if the rider’s endorsement is from Alabama, then the rider must also present proof that they took a Basic Rider Course.
Unlike passenger vehicle drivers, motorcyclists are not permitted to participate in Florida’s no-fault insurance system. Instead, Florida law requires that motorcyclists meet different minimums of insurance coverage. Motorcyclists must have a minimum of $30,000 in liability coverage, with a minimum of $10,000 for bodily injuries to a single person, $20,000 for two or more persons, and $10,000 in property damage liability coverage per crash. Unlike passenger vehicles, motorcyclists aren’t required to show proof of insurance when registering a motorcycle. That said, if the motorcyclist is involved in a collision, they will face serious penalties such as suspension of their license and motorcycle registration if they are not insured.
Lane splitting, also known as lane filtering, is not legal in Florida. However, Florida law does permit two motorcycles to share one lane. Passenger vehicles must stay to the rear of the two motorcycles and treat them as if they were a single vehicle.
Handlebars, mufflers, and footrests
Handlebars: While some states permit handlebars that force the rider to reach up to hold them, colloquially known as “ape hangers,” Florida does not. All motorcycle handlebars must be set so that the rider’s hands are no higher than shoulder height. Both hands must be on the handlebars at all times while riding.
Mufflers: Motorcycles may not use mufflers or exhaust systems that are modified.
Footrests: All motorcycles in Florida which are designed to carry passengers must have footrests for both the driver and passengers. Footrests are not required only where the cab of the bike is enclosed, or where the space designed to carry passengers is a sidecar.
Get Immediate Help After a Florida Motorcycle Accident
After a motorcycle crash in Florida, don’t wait to take legal action to seek the money you may be owed. Contact Florida’s effective and tenacious motorcycle attorneys at Meldon Law for a free consultation.