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A Quick Guide to Florida Motorcycle Passenger Laws

What Laws Do Motorcycle Passengers Need to Follow?

Riding a motorcycle is a passion for many people in the Sunshine State who enjoy the year-round opportunity to drive in the warm Florida weather.

All motorcyclists need to follow standard traffic laws, but there are also some motorcycle-specific laws to be aware of, and specifically stricter laws relating to passengers. A passenger riding on the back or sidecar of a motorcycle must take extra precautions when compared to a typical car passenger, and the driver of the motorcycle has a greater responsibility for their passengers’ safety.

Florida law specifies that passengers may only ride on motorcycles that are designed for two passengers. On two-person motorcycles, passengers may ride on the back of the same seat the driver is sitting on, or on a separate passenger seat affixed to the motorcycle. A second seat can be behind or next to the driver’s seat, as long as the rider’s position does not “interfere with the operation or control of the motorcycle… or view of the operator,” according to the law. The purpose of this law is safety, and as a passenger, you need to be sure that you are not causing unnecessary difficulty to the driver of the motorcycle.

Are Passengers Required to Wear a Helmet on a Motorcycle?

In Florida, people aged 21 and over are not legally required to wear a helmet if their insurance policy covers at least $10,000. However, passengers should wear a helmet, and follow all other apparel safety measures that drivers follow. In addition to a helmet, riders should wear closed-toe shoes and heavy fabrics like denim and leather.

Can Children Ride on Motorcycles?

Children are legally allowed to ride on motorcycles in Florida, and there is no age restriction on this rule. Children are subject to all other motorcycle safety measures, and because they are under the age of 21, are required to wear a helmet. Extra safety precautions should be applied when riding with a child on your motorcycle, and it is important to educate them about motorcycle safety and the dangers of distracted driving before beginning your ride.

What Are the Regulations for Passenger Side Cars?

Most motorcycle passengers ride on the back of the motorcycle, holding on to the driver for safety. Although not as common, side cars are another option for motorcycle passengers. Side car riders should follow all of the safety precautions listed above, and be as attentive as any passenger. The presence of a side car will affect some equipment requirements defined in Florida law — for example, motorcycles with a side car are not obligated to install footrests on the bike, unlike standard passenger-carrying motorcycles.

What If I Was Injured While Riding on a Motorcycle?

Motorcycle accidents can be devastating, especially in cases where the proper safety precautions were not followed. As a smaller vehicle that shares the road with cars and large trucks, motorcycles are especially susceptible to accidents, and the results can be serious injury or death.

At Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A., our Port Charlotte motorcycle accident attorneys understand the risks motorcyclists face every day, and the immense loss an accident can bring. We represent accident victims throughout the Port Charlotte area and are dedicated to recovering the damages you are entitled to.

Contact us at (941) 960-7225 or online for a free consultation. A member of our team will return your message shortly.

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