Florida has several laws that cover motorcycles. Some of these laws regulate motorcyclists and motorcycles to ensure their safety and roadworthiness. Others cover the insurance requirements so motorcyclists can recover compensation after a motorcycle accident.
Florida also has a few traffic laws that apply specifically to motorcycles and mopeds. Florida’s laws take into account the speed and maneuverability of motorcycles. They also account for the added risks of riding a motorcycle.
Read on for an overview of motorcycle laws in Florida and how they may affect you after a motorcycle accident.
How Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Motorcycle Accident in Miami
Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers has served the residents of Miami for nearly 15 years. During that time, the firm has recovered millions of dollars in injury compensation for its clients. Some of the firm’s notable case results include:
- $9 million motorcycle accident settlement
- $3.1 million bad faith insurance case after a motorcycle accident
- $725,000 bad faith insurance case after a motorcycle accident
The firm’s lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience. To speak to an experienced injury lawyer about your motorcycle accident, contact or call Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers at (305) 937-0191 for a free consultation.
How Are Motorcycle Laws Organized in Florida?
Florida regulates four areas relating to motorcycles:
- Motorcycle operator licensing
- Required equipment on motorcycles
- Traffic laws that apply to motorcycles only
- Motorcycle insurance and financial responsibility
Additionally, motorcycles must follow all of the traffic laws that apply to motor vehicles unless they implicitly exempt motorcycles from compliance. For example, motorcycle operators must follow the general statute banning driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Overview of Motorcycle Laws in Florida
Motorcyclists must comply with general traffic laws and motorcycle-specific laws. As a result, motorcyclists must know and follow more laws than a driver of a passenger vehicle.
Some laws motorcyclists should know include:
Before you can operate a motorcycle legally in Florida, you must add a motorcycle endorsement to your driver’s license or obtain a motorcycle license.
If you already hold a driver’s license, you can add a motorcycle endorsement by:
- Taking and passing an authorized motorcycle safety course
- Showing proof of identification
- Paying the endorsement fee
If you do not have a driver’s license, you can get a “motorcycle only” driver’s license. You get this license by taking the written driver’s license test and meeting all of the requirements of getting a motorcycle endorsement.
If you hold a driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement issued by another state, you can skip the motorcycle safety course. Florida will honor the other state’s process for issuing a motorcycle endorsement and issue one to you when you become a Florida resident.
Only residents of Alabama must take the motorcycle safety course to get an endorsement.
Required Motorcycle Equipment
Motorcycles must have all of the equipment required for passenger vehicles, including headlights, tail lights, and turn signals.
Motorcycles also have a few motorcycle-specific requirements. For example, motorcycles must have brakes that stop the motorcycle traveling at 20 miles per hour in less than 30 feet.
Florida’s helmet and eye protection law falls within the equipment requirements. In Florida, all motorcyclists must wear eye protection. Also, motorcyclists must wear a helmet unless they qualify for an exemption.
To be exempted from the helmet requirement, a motorcyclist must be 21 or older and have health insurance that covers motorcycle injuries.
Motorcycle accidents frequently cause injuries to the upper extremities, lower extremities, and head. A head injury can damage your face and neck or cause a brain injury. Wearing a helmet reduces the risk of death by 37% and the risk of a head injury by 69%.
Motorcycle-Specific Traffic Laws
Florida’s lane-splitting law prohibits motorcyclists from riding between traffic lanes. This law also prohibits passing a vehicle by riding in the same lane as the vehicle being passed.
Motorcycles can ride single-file or two abreast. But they cannot ride with more than two riders side-by-side in a lane.
Motorcyclists must have their headlights on at all times. They cannot carry objects that interfere with holding the handlebars with both hands. And they cannot carry a passenger unless the motorcycle has a separate seat and footrests.
Florida’s no-fault insurance system does not apply to motorcycles. Instead, motorcycle owners must only comply with Florida’s financial responsibility law.
You can comply with this law in three ways:
- Obtain motorcycle liability insurance
- Deposit cash with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
- Prove sufficient net worth to self-insure
If you get into an accident, you cannot rely on no-fault insurance to cover your medical bills and lost income. Your only option is to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver. To prove liability, you must prove the at-fault driver acted negligently in causing the accident.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Miami Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Even when you comply with Florida’s motorcycle laws, you can still suffer a serious motorcycle accident. The fault for about 60% of motorcycle accidents lies with the driver who hit the motorcycle. If you were injured in a motorcycle crash, you deserve compensation. To discuss your motorcycle accident and the compensation you can seek for your injuries in Miami-Dade County, contact Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation.