Florida Motorcycle Law FAQs
As a motorcyclist in Florida, you may have a lot of questions regarding what is and is not legal. As of 2017, Florida lead the nation in the number of motorcycle crash fatalities, with approximately 600 deaths in a single year. That same year, there were just over 9,000 injuries. Miami-Dade County lead the state in the number of motorcycle accident fatalities, with 67 deaths. Broward County’s fatality rate was significantly lower, at 42. What these numbers indicate is that the laws and regulations protecting motorcyclists are not enough or, if they are enough, not enough riders and drivers abide by them. This may have less to do with carelessness and more to do with lack of awareness.
At Spencer Morgan Law, our motorcycle accident attorneys strive to help accident victims and their families recover after devastating crashes. However, when possible, we also strive to prevent accidents, which we do by educating Florida motorists and motorcyclists. This post addresses some of your more pressing FAQs regarding Florida motorcycle law and how it applies to you.
Q: Are Motorcyclists Required to Carry Insurance?
Technically, no. However, if you were involved in a crash that caused bodily injury to yourself, a passenger, or the occupants of another vehicle, and if you were responsible for the accident, you would be financially responsible for damages. If you did not have liability coverage at the time, the state requires you to purchase coverage and maintain it for at least three years, otherwise it would suspend your motorcycle license and registration. This law is in place to protect yourself and others
Q: Does Florida Require Bikers to Carry Insurance for Passengers?
Again, no, it does not. However, it is always a good idea to pay for coverage if you plan on driving with passengers on a frequent basis.
Q: Is There a Minimum Age Requirement for Passengers?
Florida does not have a minimum age requirement for passengers. However, it is important to bear in mind that Florida does have child endangerment laws in place. If the authorities suspect that you were driving recklessly with a child passenger, you may be guilty of several charges. That said, the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides a helpful pamphlet for motorcycle operators. On page 24, there is a brief section regarding how operators can safely instruct and carry passengers, which is worth reading.
Q: Are Motorcycle Operators and Passengers Required to Wear Helmets and Eye Protection?
Florida requires the use of helmets, but with age restrictions. Any operator or passenger younger than 21 years of age must wear a helmet while on a moving motorcycle. The state also requires any passenger or operator of any age to wear eye protection.
Q: What are Florida’s Daytime Headlight Use Laws?
Florida is one of 18 states that requires all motorcycles, regardless of make, model, or year, to have the headlight on at all times. If you operate an older model on which the headlight does not turn on automatically, make it a point to flip the headlight switch to the on position after starting your bike every time.
Q: Is Lane-Splitting Legal in Florida?
No, lane-splitting is not legal in Florida. Florida is one of many states that strictly prohibits this practice.
For more information regarding Florida’s motorcycle laws, visit the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles webpage. You can also contact our Miami motorcycle accident lawyers at Spencer Morgan Law for answers to any specific questions you have as well as for guidance on how to proceed after a motorcycle accident.