Although Florida doesn’t require its residents to provide proof of financial responsibility when registering a motorcycle, the state does have several helmet laws in place to ensure that riders are protected – both bodily and financially – in case of an accident. After a certain age, however, Florida helmet laws include a medical insurance exemption.
Under Florida law, a person is allowed to ride a motorcycle without a helmet if two conditions are satisfied:
- You must be over 21 years of age
- You must carry (and have proof of) $10,000 in medical insurance that will cover the injuries that might occur in the event of a motorcycle crash.
Absent of carrying medical insurance, Florida motorcycle riders are required to wear a helmet from the list of approved models by the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. Every motorcyclist – regardless of age or insurance coverage – must wear protective eye gear or have a wind shield on their motorcycle. Glasses and sunglasses are acceptable forms of “protective eye gear” under this law.
After a previous motorcycle helmet law was overturned by a Florida court for being overly vague, the current law was passed in 2000. It serves as a compromise between those (mainly motorcycle riders) who believed that the helmet requirement was a government overreach and those who held that motorcycle accidents tend to cause a disproportionate amount of head injuries. These types of injuries can lead to long term brain damage that would constitute a burden on the state that would have to pay for the care of people suffering from them. The requirement to carry insurance to avoid wearing a helmet was meant to address this problem.
If you are over 21 and decide to forgo wearing a helmet, don’t leave home without your proof of insurance. Florida law enforcement is free to stop any motorcyclist without a helmet that could be underage. Another important consideration? If you are in an accident and decide to file a personal injury suit, your decision to not wear a helmet could negatively affect your case, as the defendant might argue that the injuries sustained in the accident were the result of your own negligence. For more information, please visit our page on helmet laws. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident and were not wearing a helmet, enlist the help of an experienced attorney to ensure you recover the damages you deserve.