5 Things You Need to Know About Florida Motorcycle Laws
Unfortunately, motorcycle crashes are quite common, especially in the state of Florida. Motorcycle laws in Florida are designed to help all drivers and motorcyclists stay safe on the road. If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident, the first step to take (after receiving medical attention) is hiring a personal injury lawyer who has extensive experience dealing with similar cases in the state of Florida. However, it is also important to have a clear understanding of Florida’s motorcycle laws for yourself to prepare in case an emergency occurs. Read on to learn 5 important Florida motorcycle laws that will help you know where you stand in the event of an accident.
1. You Need 2 Types of Insurance to Drive a Motorcycle in Florida
When it comes to insurance, there are 2 requirements for motorcyclists in the state of Florida. First, riders who are over 21 must have at least $10,000 in medical insurance benefits in order to ride a motorcycle without a helmet. This coverage is to help cover the cost of injuries if an accident occurs. While this insurance is optional for motorcyclists in general, it is mandatory in Florida if you choose not to wear a helmet. Furthermore, anyone under the age of 21 is required to wear a helmet at all times.
Second, all motorcyclists in Florida must have liability insurance. It is broken down into:
- $10,000 for single person bodily injury liability
- $20,000 for two or more people bodily injury liability
- $10,000 for property damage liability
Unlike many other states, the insurance requirements for motorcycles and motor vehicles are different in Florida. The main difference is that motorcyclists are not required to carry personal injury protection insurance (PIP). PIP pays medical bills and lost wages, usually up to a maximum of $10,000. However, riders should take note that because PIP is not required for motorcycle insurance, motorcyclists who are involved in an accident must pursue the other driver to recover the costs of any damages that were caused by the crash.
2. Daytime Headlights Are Required
Florida motorcycle laws require all riders to drive while using a headlight, no matter what time of day it may be. The law states that failing to use a headlight is not evidence for negligence in a civil case unless it has been the proximate cause of a crash. Therefore, always making sure your headlights are on when you get on your bike is the best practice for motorcyclists in Florida.
3. Florida Has Motorcycle Helmet Laws
You must always wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle if you are under the age of 21 in Florida. Even if you are over 21, you still must wear a helmet unless you carry at least $10,000 in medical coverage to help in the event of an accident.
While Florida motorcycle helmet laws are clearly stated, it remains unclear if failure to wear one during a crash is evidence of negligence. Since proof of negligence can be used to reduce the damages suffered by a motorcycle operator, this topic is often quite controversial. There have been a number of past cases with conflicting results, so all motorcyclists in Florida should play it safe by wearing a helmet while riding.
4. There Are Certain Requirements for Motorcycles in Florida
Along with rules for motorcycle drivers themselves, Florida also has requirements for the equipment your motorcycle needs to be lawful on the road. All motorcycles must have footrests and handlebars attached, as well as working stop lamps and signals. It is also important to understand that in Florida, motorcycles are defined as a vehicle that has no more than 3 wheels and a motor with a displacement of no more than 50 cubic centimeters. This is significant because it differentiates motorcycles and mopeds, which are subject to different sets of rules. Bikes that are legally classified as mopeds can be driven without helmets, insurance, or a license endorsement, but are not allowed on highways.
5. Motorcyclists Have the Right of Full Use of the Road in Florida
Florida motorcycle laws give motorcyclists all the same rights that other drivers have on the road. Motorcyclists have a right to full use of their lane, but also may share the lane with another rider if they want to. Drivers on the road are required to give motorcycle riders full use of their lane just as any other driver. Additionally, just as motorcyclists have the same rights as drivers on the road, they also have the same rules. This means those driving motorcycles cannot weave in and out of traffic and must follow all traffic-signals and signs.
Choose Barnes & Cohen for Your Personal Injury Case
Barnes & Cohen is recognized as a leading Personal Injury Firm in Northeast Florida with an office in Jacksonville. We also have an office in Kingsland to serve injured victims in Georgia. For over 35 years, our personal injury attorneys have fought for full compensation, medical costs, lost income, and other damages for victims of accidents and personal injuries. Our team has earned a reputation for excellence and consistently successful outcomes in motorcycle accident personal injury cases in both Florida and Georgia. If you have been involved in an accident and are seeking legal help, we encourage you to contact our offices today for a free consultation.