It’s summer. And while the weather in Florida is usually nice all year long, this time of the year you will see more people on the roads – including those on motorcycles.
There are, unfortunately, a lot of accidents on the roads involving motorcycles in Florida each year. That’s why if you drive a motorcycle (and even if you don’t), it’s vital to know what these laws are since they could potentially impact a personal injury case involving a motorcycle.
Here are some of the most important Florida motorcycle laws you need to know about.
If you have a driver’s license and drive a motorcycle in Florida, you are required to obtain a motorcycle endorsement. This applies to any two or three-wheeled bike with an engine that is 50cc’s or larger.
To get this endorsement, you are required to complete the Basic Rider Course through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. If you don’t have a regular driver’s license, then you can get one that is expressly for operating a motorcycle.
There are helmet laws in Florida for those who ride and drive motorcycles. If you are under 21, the law requires you to wear a helmet that is approved. If you are over 21, wearing a helmet is optional. However, not wearing a helmet means you must have at least $10,000 in medical benefits through your insurance carrier to pay for injuries you might sustain in an accident.
All riders must wear approved eye protection to ride their motorcycles in the state. This helps to ensure the safety of those who are on the motorcycles as well as others on the road by keeping the driver’s vision unrestricted.
You Can’t Lane Split
It is illegal in Florida for those on motorcycles to drive between two occupied lanes on the roads. This is what is commonly called “lane splitting.” You must have full use of the lane on the road to ride in it on your motorcycle. You also cannot pass between occupied lanes or overtake in them.
Motorcycles Can’t Ride Side by Side
You cannot ride a motorcycle side by side with another motorcycle in the same lane in Florida. The lanes are simply not wide enough to safely accommodate this formation, so lawmakers believe it is dangerous to do so and may lead to accidents.
If you ride with another person, your motorcycle must be equipped to carry a passenger. This means there must be designated seats for any person you bring along on your motorcycle. Footrests for passengers are also required.
Headlights Must Always Be On
Under Florida law, motorcycles must leave their headlights on no matter what time of day to help increase their visibility on the roadways. If the engine is running, then your headlight must also be on. It is thought that this will help vehicles from turning into the path of a motorcycle, a common cause of accidents involving motorcycles.
Mirrors are Required
Every motorcycle on the road has to have mirrors that allow the person driving to see behind themselves by at least 200 feet. Mirrors allow those operating motorcycles to see what is going on in the periphery and trailing, which is thought to help reduce accidents from occurring.
If you are in a motorcycle accident, then it’s important to contact an attorney right away – especially if you are injured.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2021 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2021, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019-2021.