Motorcycle Accident Laws FloridaTrusted Content
Legally reviewed by:Erik Abrahamson, J.D. March 06, 2023
The Definitive Guide to Florida Motorcycle Accident Laws
In Florida, and throughout the rest of the United States, there are laws that pertain to riding motorcycles. From helmet laws to proper lane changes, there are motorcycle accident laws that Florida motorcyclists must adhere to. Having these laws is essential to the safety and protection of riders, passengers, and others on the road. These laws regulate various aspects of motorcycle operation, such as licensing requirements, equipment standards, and safe riding practices. Adherence to these laws helps to reduce the number of motorcycle accidents and fatalities, ensuring that riders and others can enjoy the open road with peace of mind. In short, motorcycle accident laws in Florida play a crucial role in maintaining public safety and promoting the responsible use of these vehicles on the state’s roads and highways.
Why Is It Important To Know & Understand Motorcycle Accident Laws In Florida?
Knowing Florida motorcycle accident laws is important for motorcyclists because it helps them understand their rights and responsibilities in the event of an accident. Accidents can be traumatic and stressful, and having a clear understanding of the legal process can assist in making informed decisions about their actions following an accident, such as collecting evidence, seeking medical attention, and contacting an attorney. This can provide peace of mind and empower riders to advocate for themselves and others in the aftermath of an accident.
Motorcycle Accident Laws In Florida That Everyone Needs To Know
Motorcycle accidents make up about 2% of all vehicle accidents in Florida each year. The laws pertaining to motorcycles tend to differ in every state. Florida motorcycle accident laws are unique to the state of Florida, and therefore, important for motorcyclists to be aware of and adhere to. The following are the most important motorcycle accident laws in Florida.
Florida motorcycle accident laws dictate that any individual under the age of 21 must wear a Department of Transportation (DOT) approved motorcycle helmet at all times when riding the motorcycle. Motorcyclists over the age of 21, do not have to wear a helmet, as long as they carry over $10,000 in insurance for medical care. If they do not carry over $10,000 in medical benefits for motorcycle insurance, they must wear a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet.
By requiring all riders under the age of 21 to wear an approved helmet, Florida helps to ensure that young riders are protected from the devastating consequences of a head injury. Moreover, for adult riders, the option to choose between wearing a helmet or carrying insurance with medical benefits helps to encourage personal responsibility and informed decision-making. Overall, motorcycle helmet laws in Florida help to protect riders, reduce the number of motorcycle accidents and fatalities, and promote safe and responsible motorcycle use on the state’s roads and highways.
Is Your Bike In Good Working Condition?
As per the motorcycle laws in Florida, it is mandatory to maintain your motorcycle in proper working condition. This includes having a functioning horn, securely attaching the license plate to prevent it from flipping or coming loose, and ensuring that the brakes are functioning properly. While it is important to have functioning brakes, motorcycles are not required to have a separate parking brake.
A motorcycle that is in good working condition is less likely to experience mechanical failures or malfunctions while in use, reducing the risk of accidents and ensuring that riders can safely operate their vehicles. Moreover, having a functioning horn, properly attached license plate, and functioning brakes are all essential components that are necessary for safe motorcycle operation and help to ensure that riders can effectively communicate and control their vehicles. By requiring motorcycles to be in good working condition, Florida’s motorcycle laws help to promote safety and responsible motorcycle use on the state’s roads and highways.
Under 21 License Plates
In Florida, individuals under the age of 21 are permitted to register their own motorcycles. However, if they choose to do so, they must obtain a special license plate to indicate the rider’s age. This special license plate serves as a visual identifier for law enforcement, allowing them to quickly and easily determine the age of the motorcycle’s registered owner.
Motorcycling can be a hazardous activity, and young riders may be at a higher risk for accidents due to their limited experience and skill. The special license plate helps law enforcement to easily identify young riders, allowing them to take appropriate action in the event of an accident or violation.
Additionally, the special license plate may serve as a deterrent for young riders, reminding them of the added responsibility and heightened scrutiny that comes with operating a motorcycle at a young age. By requiring special license plates for drivers under 21, Florida’s motorcycle accident laws help to promote safety, encourage responsible riding, and ensure that young riders are held to the same high standards as all other motorcyclists in the state.
Lane Usage For Motorcycles
As a motorcycle rider in Florida, you have the right to occupy a full lane while riding. Two motorcycles are permitted to ride side by side within a single lane. Although it is illegal to pass a vehicle in the same lane. Additionally, riding between lanes of vehicles, also known as “lane splitting,” is prohibited.
Adhering to the lane change laws for motorcyclists in Florida is crucial for ensuring the safety and well-being of riders and other road users. The full use of a lane gives motorcyclists the necessary space to maneuver and operate their vehicles safely. Sharing a lane with another motorcycle can also reduce the risk of an accident, as it gives riders more space to maneuver and react to road conditions. However, passing a vehicle in the same lane it is traveling in and riding between lanes of vehicles can be dangerous and increase the risk of an accident.
Florida Motorcycle Accident Insurance Laws
In addition to the motorcycle accident laws in Florida, there are also insurance laws that must be followed.
Motorcyclists Must Carry Financial Responsibility Insurance
In Florida, while no-fault insurance is not a requirement for motorcyclists, they must still obtain financial responsibility insurance. This insurance provides protection in the event of an accident and shows that the rider is financially responsible for any damages or injuries they cause. Additionally, riders who choose not to wear a helmet approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) must carry a medical benefits insurance policy with coverage of at least $10,000.
In the event of a crash where the rider is at fault, they must provide evidence of liability insurance coverage with minimum limits specified by law. Failure to maintain the required insurance coverage can result in severe consequences, including suspension of the rider’s license, fees, and other penalties. Thus, it is essential for motorcyclists to understand and comply with the financial responsibility insurance requirements in order to avoid legal and financial repercussions.
In the event of a motorcycle accident in Florida, injured riders may be eligible to recover damages from the other driver if they are determined to be at fault. The state of Florida uses a comparative negligence system, which means that even if the rider is partially responsible for the accident, they may still be able to recover damages. The amount of damages that can be recovered, however, will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the rider.
For instance, if a rider sustains $10,000 in damages as a result of a crash, and a court determines that they are 30% responsible for the accident, the amount of damages they are able to recover will be reduced to $7,000. This system serves to ensure that damages are distributed fairly among all parties involved in the accident, based on their degree of fault.
Contact A Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorney Near You
If you are unsure of the Florida motorcycle accident laws and are in need of legal guidance, it is important to seek the assistance of one of our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk Car Accident & Injury Lawyers. A knowledgeable Florida motorcycle accident attorney from our firm can help you understand your rights and obligations, as well as guide you through the legal process in the event of a crash. With our expertise in the area of motorcycle accident law, we can help you navigate the complexities of insurance claims and court proceedings, ensuring that you receive the compensation that you deserve. Don’t wait, take action now and contact a Florida motorcycle accident lawyer at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk Car Accident & Injury Lawyers today. We are ready to help you fight for your rights and secure the best possible outcome for your case.