All drivers should demonstrate extra care when sharing the road with motorcyclists. It is important to remember that even though their vehicles are smaller, motorcycle riders still have equal rights on the road.
Below are some general guidelines regarding safety issues for both motorcyclists and drivers of other vehicles to keep in mind when sharing the roadway in Florida.
Tips for motorcyclists
- Florida law requires all motorcyclists to wear eye protection and headgear or helmets that comply with U.S. Department of Transportation regulations. Riders over the age of 21 may choose to operate a motorcycle without a helmet if they have appropriate insurance coverage.
- Motorcyclists may not operate their bikes on bicycle or footpaths.
- Motorcyclists must complete an approved motorcycle safety course to obtain a motorcycle endorsement on a driver’s license.
Tips for other drivers
- Always check carefully to make sure it’s safe before changing lanes or turning at an intersection. Motorcycles are not always as visible as passenger vehicles.
- Keep in mind that motorcycles might appear to be farther away than they actually are because of their smaller size.
- Never try to share a lane with a motorcycle.
- Give motorcyclists plenty of space when driving behind them and when passing them so as not to create gusts of wind that can cause them to lose balance.
- Do not attempt to increase your speed when a rider is passing you.
- Know that motorcyclists can slow down by easing off the throttle or shifting down, which would not activate the brake light. This is another reason to keep your distance when following motorcycles.