The state of Florida has motorcycle helmet laws, but allows most adults to choose for themselves whether to wear a helmet. Under Florida law, riders who are at least 21 years old do not need to wear a helmet as long as they are covered by a medical insurance policy with a minimum of $10,000 in coverage. This means that riders under 21 years old and riders without the appropriate insurance coverage are required to wear motorcycle helmets. Violations of state motorcycle helmet laws are considered noncriminal traffic infractions.
For riders who are required to wear a helmet, their helmets must comply with federal standards. Consumers can make sure these standards are met by looking for a DOT sticker on their helmet. In recent years, many riders have begun to wear decorative or novelty helmets. While these helmets do cover the head, they can actually be more dangerous during a Florida motorcycle accident than wearing no helmet at all. Bikers over 21 years of age and with the required insurance coverage are allowed to wear novelty helmets, but younger riders and others required to wear helmets cannot wear these unapproved novelty helmets.
In addition to helmets, all Florida motorcyclists must have eye protection at all times, regardless of age. Eye protection ranges from windshield affixed to the motorcycle to goggles or glasses worn by the rider.
Rules are different for mopeds and bikes with smaller engines. Helmets are not required for adult riders on bikes with engines smaller than 40 cubic centimeters or when the vehicle has less than three brake horsepower and cannot exceed 30 miles per hour. Riders under 16 years old must wear helmets even on mopeds.
Wearing a safe, approved helmet every time you ride can help prevent serious injury. While many riders like the feeling of freedom that comes with a bike, it is important to remember that accidents happen to even the most experienced riders.
As both an attorney and a life-long motorcycle rider, Chris Largey, founder of Largey Law, encourages you to always wear a helmet. We are here to help all injured riders and passengers, whether they were wearing a helmet or not. If you have been injured in an accident involving a motorcycle, contact an experienced Citrus County motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your rights. Contact us online for a consultation today.