Do You Have to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in Miami, FL?
March 15, 2022 | Sagi Shaked
With its gorgeous year-round weather, Miami, FL, is the perfect place to ride a motorcycle. However, a motorcycle accident can be dangerous or even fatal without a helmet. Many motorcycle riders wonder just what Miami’s helmet laws are and the penalties for not abiding by them.
Helmet Laws in Florida
Motorcycle helmet laws apply to all Florida riders, but not every rider is required to wear a helmet. Florida law requires helmets for all riders under 21. Riders over 21 years of age may forego protective headgear as long as they carry insurance with at least $10,000 in medical benefits.
Motorcycle drivers or passengers who don’t meet certain criteria must wear a helmet that’s compliant with federal safety standards.
Are There Exceptions to Helmet Laws in Florida?
There are a few exemptions to helmet laws in Florida. If you meet one of these standards, you aren’t required to wear a helmet. However, it’s still generally recommended because of the potential to be in a motorcycle accident.
- Drivers or passengers over 21 with more than $10,000 in medical insurance
- Drivers 16 and older operating a moped with less than 50cc displacement
- Riders in an enclosed cab (sidecar)
- Drivers 16 and older operating a moped that can only go up to 30mph and has 2-brake horsepower
Anyone under 16 operating a moped must always wear a helmet meeting federal safety standards.
Even though some riders are exempt, motorcycle crashes have a high incidence of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and concussions. Helmets help protect you and your passenger.
Other Regulations for Florida Motorcycle Safety Compliance
The medical insurance requirement for the Florida helmet law, at least $10,000, must provide benefits specifically for motorcycle crashes. The state doesn’t require specific motorcycle insurance, but for people with PIP insurance, policies often don’t automatically cover the bike. Riders will have to seek out a motorcycle-specific policy for the helmet exemption.
Eye protection is required for motorcycle drivers, with no exception for age or insurance coverage.
What Is the Penalty for Violating Florida Motorcycle Laws?
The violation is considered to be a non-critical and non-moving violation. This means that a police officer can’t pull you over for not wearing a helmet, but if you’re breaking another traffic law and the officer finds you aren’t compliant with the helmet law, you’ll receive an additional citation. The penalty is a ticket and a fine.
Wearing a Helmet Protects You
If you’re driving a motorcycle and collide with a car, you’re likely to be hurt much worse than the other driver. Helmets protect you by significantly reducing your chances of experiencing a serious head injury or dying.
Additionally, if you decide to file a suit against another driver for damages in an accident that wasn’t your fault, the fact that you weren’t wearing a helmet can affect your settlement. It could even impact whether you receive one at all.
The other party could claim your lack of a helmet is comparative negligence on your part. However, the issue still isn’t defined in Florida courts. If this comes up in your case, make sure you’re represented by a personal injury attorney who’s familiar with Florida motorcycle laws.
A Responsible Choice
While Florida law allows for some exemptions to the motorcycle helmet requirements, drivers must meet the necessary criteria to remain compliant with the law. That being said, choosing to wear a helmet can protect you and your passenger in a motorcycle accident.