What Motorcycle Gear is Required in Florida?

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Riding a motorcycle can be exhilarating, offering a sense of freedom and adventure on Florida’s scenic roads. However, safety should always be a priority for riders. Like many other states, Florida has certain gear requirements to improve rider safety.

Understanding these requirements and investing in appropriate gear can reduce the likelihood of serious injuries in the event of a crash. If you’re involved in a collision, a Florida motorcycle injury attorney at Aigen Injury Law can represent your claim and get you fair compensation.

What Motorcycle Gear Are You Required to Wear in Florida?

Florida law mandates motorcycle riders to wear specific gear to ensure their safety on the road, including:

  • Riders under 21 must wear a helmet that meets Federal Motorcycle Vehicle Safety Standard 218 requirements.
  • Riders 21 and over can choose not to wear a helmet if they have at least $10,000 in medical benefits coverage as part of their motorcycle insurance policy.
  • Motorcycle riders must wear eye protection, such as goggles or a face shield unless the motorcycle is equipped with a windshield.

The law also requires the following equipment:

Wearing the required gear is about more than your safety. It can also impact your compensation after a collision. For example, if you aren’t wearing a helmet and suffer injuries in a crash, the other driver could claim your decision not to wear a helmet contributed to your injuries, making you partially at fault for your own injuries. This could reduce your compensation under Florida’s contributory fault laws. 

Recommended Motorcycle Gear

Although Florida’s laws set specific gear standards around motorcycle helmets, wearing additional protective equipment can enhance your safety on a motorcycle. Below are some gear recommendations for motorcyclists in Florida:

  • Helmets: Although they aren’t required for all riders, you should always wear an approved safety helmet when on the road. A study conducted between 2002-2017 found that an estimated 25,000 lives were saved during that 15-year period by wearing motorcycle helmets. That comes out to over 1,600 lives every year!
  • Protective Clothing: Wear durable, protective clothing like abrasion-resistant jackets, pants, gloves, and steel-toed boots, which offer protection during falls or crashes. Ensure these clothing items are long enough to fully cover your limbs and made from materials like motorcycle leather, Cordura, or Kevlar. This can reduce the risk of road rash and broken bones by providing a barrier between you and the road.
  • Reflective or Hi-Vis Gear: Wearing reflective or vibrantly colored gear, such as vests, improves visibility to other motorists, particularly during dawn, dusk, or nighttime riding.
  • Rain Gear: Florida is known for its sudden rain showers, especially during warmer weather. Carry waterproof gear, including rain suits or jackets and gloves, to help you stay dry and maintain better control of your motorcycle in wet conditions.
  • Hearing Protection: Riding a motorcycle can cause hearing damage over time due to loud wind and engine noise. Wearing earplugs or specially designed hearing protection can help reduce wind noise while still allowing riders to hear traffic and emergency sirens.

What Not to Wear When Riding Your Motorcycle

When gearing up for your next adventure, knowing what to avoid wearing can save you from injuries or a possible accident. Here’s what not to wear and why:

  • Old or Outdated Helmets: Older helmets may not meet current safety standards or offer the latest protection technology. Technically, a helmet may not have an expiration date, but most brands recommend replacing it every five to seven years, or sooner if it been in a crash already.
  • Non-Reflective or Dark Clothing: These can increase your risk of not being seen by other road users, especially at night or in poor visibility conditions. Avoid black, brown, or gray clothing.
  • Shorts or Baggy Pants: These offer little to no protection against abrasion in case of a fall and can get tangled in the motorcycle’s moving parts, leading to accidents.
  • Flip-Flops, Sandals, and Other Open-Toed Shoes: These types of footwear do not protect your feet and ankles from abrasions or impacts. Ensure passengers also wear protective footwear before riding with you!
  • Non-Protective Eyewear: Sunglasses or non-safety-rated eyewear may not protect against wind, debris, or impacts, compromising vision and eye safety.
  • Clothing Without Moisture-Wicking or Ventilation Features: In the summer, especially in Florida, wearing heavy clothing can lead to overheating and dehydration. Make sure you wear appropriate items with mesh ventilation to enhance concentration and comfort.

Protect Your Right to Compensation with Aigen Injury Law

Even if you take all the right precautions, you may still be involved in a motorcycle accident due to another road user’s negligence. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle collision in Florida, seek legal guidance from the experienced professionals at Aigen Injury Law.

We’re experienced in managing motorcycle accident claims in Miami and can help protect your right to compensation. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation to learn about your legal options. Remember to stay safe and ride responsibly.