People love riding motorcycles for a variety of reasons, as it offers a unique and exhilarating experience that differs from driving a car or other forms of transportation. The open road, wind in your face, and the feeling of being connected to the environment create a unique experience that many find freeing. The speed, acceleration, and maneuverability of motorcycles can provide an adrenaline rush that enthusiasts find thrilling and exhilarating.
The sensory experience of riding — feeling the vibrations of the engine, the rumble of the road, and the rush of the wind — can be incredibly satisfying and just plain fun! Motorcycles provide an excellent means of escaping the routine and embarking on adventures. Whether it’s a short ride to clear the mind or a long road trip to explore new places, motorcycles can create memorable journeys.
It’s not all fun and good times, though. Motorcycle adventures can go bad in an instant. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there were 8,045 motorcycle accidents in 2020 and 8,649 in 2021. Based on the FLHSMV’s most recent data, there were a record number of motorcycle accidents in Florida in 2022, more so than the previous two years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 236 motorcycle crashes result in injuries every day in the United States. In general, the odds of getting into a motorcycle accident are 1 in 100.
Motorcycle accidents are not uncommon, and they can result in serious injuries and fatalities due to the relative lack of protection for riders compared to occupants of enclosed vehicles. Motorcycles are inherently more vulnerable on the road due to their smaller size, lower visibility, and lack of protective barriers. This vulnerability can contribute to a higher risk of accidents and injuries compared to other vehicles. This is why it is so important for drivers to follow all motorcycle laws in Florida.
Florida Helmet Laws
In Miami, Florida, motorcycle helmet laws are different depending on the driver’s age.
Helmet Law for Riders Under 21
All motorcycle riders under the age of 21 are required to wear a helmet that meets the standards set by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). This applies to both operators and passengers.
Helmet Law for Riders 21 and Older
Motorcycle riders who are 21 years of age or older are not required to wear a helmet if they have at least $10,000 in medical insurance coverage for injuries that might result from a motorcycle crash.
Other Laws Pertaining to Motorcycles
While helmet laws are undoubtedly important, they’re not the only laws for motorcycle riders to be aware of. Also consider:
Eye Protection: Florida law requires all motorcycle riders, regardless of age, to wear protective eye gear while operating a motorcycle.
Headlights: Motorcycles must have their headlights turned on during the daytime.
Handlebar Height: The height of handlebars on motorcycles must not be higher than the rider’s shoulder level when seated on the motorcycle.
Lane Splitting: Lane splitting, a term for riding a motorcycle between lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic, is not legal in Florida. We see it quite often in downtown Miami traffic, but it is still against the law.
Passenger Footrests: If carrying a passenger on a motorcycle, the motorcycle must be equipped with passenger footrests.
Muffler Requirements: Motorcycles are known for being loud, but that doesn’t mean there’s no regulations. Motorcycles must be equipped with mufflers that prevent excessive noise. Modified or aftermarket exhaust systems must comply with noise level regulations.
Turn Signals: In Florida, motorcycles are required to have functioning turn signals. Studies have shown that turn signals greatly reduce accidents, and reducing motorcycle accidents save lives.
Insurance Requirements: Florida law requires all motor vehicles, including motorcycles, to have insurance coverage that meets the state’s minimum financial responsibility requirements. Motorcyclists must have at least $10,000 in property damage liability coverage and $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
Registration and License: Not just anyone with a driver’s license can drive a motorcycle. Motorcycles must be registered with the state of Florida, and riders must have a valid motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license.
Beyond these rules and regulations, motorcyclists are subject to the same traffic laws as other vehicles on the road. This includes obeying speed limits, traffic signals, and all other relevant traffic regulations. There are also DUI laws to consider of course. Not only is it incredibly dangerous, but operating a motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law.
A motorcycle accident can cause serious injuries, even if you obeyed all of the motorcycle laws and weren’t at fault. These severe injuries lead to high medical expenses. You may be wondering who will pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and damages while you recover. If you suffered bodily injury when riding your motorcycle, then you need to talk to Miami motorcycle accident lawyers right away.