Florida is a great place to ride a motorcycle, and might be a great place to take a vacation at too. Although, it is important to know Florida’s motorcycle laws, and to stay safe. The following article is intended to inform you of the different laws and regulations regarding motorcycles in Florida, and to provide some general safety tips.
Florida Motorcycle Laws and Regulations
- Riders and passengers do not have to wear a helmet if they are over 21 years old and have a minimum of $10,000 of personal medical insurance.
- Turn signals are required on your motorcycle.
- Eye protection is required for all riders and passengers.
- Motorcycles are required to have an illuminated headlamp during operation.
- Handlebars may not be higher than the rider’s shoulders.
- At least one rearview mirror is required.
- Your motorcycle is required to have a muffler.
- You motorcycle may not be louder than 82 DBa when traveling 35 mph or less, and not louder than 86 DBa when traveling faster than 35 mph.
- You are allowed to use helmet speakers, but may not use earphones when you ride.
- Every rider trying to obtain a motorcycle endorsement for the first time must pass a beginners riding course.
- A passenger seat and footrest must be firmly attached to your motorcycle if you carry a passenger.
- You must have $10,000 of bodily damage insurance coverage for one person involved in a crash, and $20,000 if two people or more are involved in a crash.
- You must have $10,000 of property damage coverage.
- Prepare for the elements.
While riding can be a very freeing experience, it can also expose you to rough weather and road conditions. Wear clothing that won’t overheat, but will still protect you from a slide. There are some companies that make clothing that is designed to protect you from a motorcycle slide, but jeans and a leather jacket should work too. Wear heavy boots that come up above the ankle, this will make it easier to shift gears and provide more traction on footrests. Make sure that your helmet fits snuggly on your head and that the chin strap is securely fastened. It would also be a good idea to wear a helmet that covers your entire head. This will provide more protection from a crash, and could prevent you from accidentally swallowing a bug.
- Become comfortable with your bike before you use it regularly.
Most motorcycle crashes happen within five mile from where the motorcycle is started because of rider inexperience. So, it’s very important to “break in” your motorcycle before you take a road trip or start riding it to work. Taking a motorcycle safety course will help with this, and teach other important skills and lessons. Remember to wear bright visible colors and to always follow the standard traffic laws. It might even be a good idea to learn basic motorcycle maintenance.
- Buy more than the basic insurance.
Any experienced rider (or lawyer) will tell you that having only the minimum insurance coverage is not a good idea. Here are a few policies to consider:
- Liability coverage will cover you if you are found liable for a crash, and should be considered a necessity.
- Uninsured motorist coverage will compensate you if you’re involved in a crash with someone whose insurance doesn’t exist or won’t pay for your damages.
- Comprehension coverage will pay for damages that are not caused by crashing into another vehicle (like theft, weather damage, crashing into a wall, etc.).
- Roadside assistance will pick you up if you’re stuck on the side of the road. This will be especially helpful if you are planning on taking a long road trip somewhere.