Florida’s warm weather is perfect for hitting the road and riding at just about any time of year. Unfortunately, our state also has an incredibly high rate of motorcycle accidents and fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s traffic safety facts, an estimated 84,000 motorcyclists were injured in 2019, and 5,014 were killed.
Many of these motorcycle accidents are caused by inattentive or reckless motorists. As such, it’s important to take the necessary precaution to be safe and legal when riding. Below, this motorcycle accident attorney in Bartow, Florida is going to discuss everything you should know about the motorcycle laws in Florida.
Motorcycle License Laws in Florida
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) takes motorcycle licensing very seriously. You must add a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license or get a “motorcycle-only” license to ride a motorcycle in Florida. You must first complete a basic training program to get the motorcycle endorsement.
Helmet Laws in Florida
Florida is among the few states that do not require all motorcyclists to wear a helmet. Riders over the age of 21 can opt not to wear a helmet, provided they have at least $10,000 in medical insurance benefits. You should be aware that not wearing a helmet may limit the amount of compensation you can receive for your injuries in a motorcycle accident — even if the accident was caused by another motorist. As any knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney in Bartow, Florida would tell you, Florida has a comparative negligence law that holds all parties involved in an accident partially accountable if their own actions contributed to the accident. If you did not wear a helmet, the court could find you negligent and reduce compensatory damages.
Insurance Laws in Florida
All motorcyclists in Florida must carry at least $20,000 in total bodily injury liability coverage, $10,000 in property damage and per-person bodily injury coverage, and $30,000 in single limit liability coverage. Personal injury protection insurance coverage is not legally required. However, if you opt to ride without a helmet, you must also carry $10,000 in medical coverage.
Other Motorcycle Laws in Florida
- You must always keep your motorcycle headlights on — including during daylight hours.
- You cannot ride your motorcycle between rows of slow-moving traffic. This practice, commonly known as lane splitting, is illegal in Florida.
- Motorcyclists in Florida are not permitted to use any type of headset while riding. However, headsets mounted in or on a helmet are exempt from this law.
- If you are carrying a passenger on your motorcycle, your motorcycle must have either a separate seat for them or a single seat designed for two people.
- Your handlebars cannot be higher than your shoulders when you are riding your motorcycle. In other words, our state prohibits using “ape hanger” handlebars.
If you have any additional questions about Florida’s motorcycle laws that were not addressed above, a reputable motorcycle accident attorney in Bartow, Florida will be happy to discuss further.
Looking for a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Bartow, Florida?
Accidents will always be a possibility if you are riding a motorcycle, no matter how cautious and lawful you are. However, if you were injured in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries and other losses.
If you have been injured and are looking for the best motorcycle accident attorney in Bartow, Florida, O’Toole Law Group is here to help. Our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys will guide you through the legal process to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at 863-533-5525 to get started.