Motorcycle accidents are, unfortunately, extremely common in Florida. In 2021, there were 8,636 motorcycle crashes in Florida; of those crashes, a majority resulted in injury, with 7,414 reported and 592 fatalities, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). All of which were higher than in 2020. Motorcycle riders are already at an increased risk of suffering severe injuries, and their passengers are no different.
According to Florida law, passengers can only ride on two-passenger motorcycles. On two-person motorcycles, passengers can ride on the same seat as the driver or on a separate seat attached to the bike. A second seat can be next to or behind the driver’s seat.
Is There an Age Limit for Motorcycle Passengers in Florida?
Florida does not have a motorcycle passenger age limit. However, adult riders must use their better judgment when allowing children on a motorcycle. For example, a bike must also have passenger footrests installed on the vehicle in Florida. The best rule of thumb is to never allow a child on a motorcycle who is not tall enough to sit upright and reach the handgrips.
Are Passengers Required to Wear Helmets While Riding a Motorcycle in Florida?
Under Florida helmet laws, riders and passengers over 21 are not required to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle if they have a minimum of $10,000 medical insurance policy to cover any injuries resulting from a crash.
However, just because motorcycle helmets are not required for some motorcycle passengers and riders does not mean they are not a good idea. Wearing a helmet can significantly reduce your risk of sustaining a serious injury in the event of a crash. Motorcycle helmets are estimated to be about 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle operators and 41% effective for motorcycle passengers.
While helmets can help protect you from serious injuries, it is important to note that they will not protect you from all injuries. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, you could suffer other injuries, such as a neck or spinal injury resulting in significant medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
Because Florida doesn’t require drivers to carry bodily injury liability insurance, many drivers won’t have adequate coverage to cover you. For this reason, we recommend motorcycle operators purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage will provide financial protection if you are injured in an accident caused by a driver who does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries.
What Are Laws for Side Cars?
While most motorcycle passengers ride behind the driver, sidecars are also an option. While there are technically no specific laws regarding sidecar riders in Florida, it is important and generally recommended that only one person rides in a sidecar at a time. This helps to keep the weight balanced and prevents the sidecar from tipping over.
What Happens If My Passenger and I Are Injured in Motorcycle Accident?
If you and your motorcycle passenger are injured in an accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. To do this, you will need to file a personal injury claim.
When filing a personal injury claim, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side who can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you receive the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact an attorney at The Fran Haasch Law Group today for a free case review. Our attorneys will review your case and advise you on the best course of action.
What Are Some Tips for Staying Safe as a Motorcycle Passenger?
There are other motorcycle safety measures that passengers can take to stay safe. First and foremost, always wear a helmet. Other protective gear passengers can wear include gloves, eye protection, and sturdy clothing. Also, passengers should always keep their legs and feet against the motorcycle frame on designated foot pegs or floorboards.
If the driver seems to be having difficulty, do not hesitate to speak up. Finally, always hold on to the hand grips or seat firmly. This will help keep you stable.
Following these safety precautions helps keep passengers and riders safe. However, accidents can still happen. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Fran Haasch Law Group.
Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
The motorcycle accident lawyers at the Fran Haasch Law Group have a proven record of standing up for injured motorcycle accident victims. We are proud to represent bikers throughout the Greater Tampa Bay Region, including Clearwater, Tampa, Palm Harbor, St. Petersburg, and beyond.
If you’ve suffered injuries from a motorcycle crash that was someone else’s fault in Tampa Bay and its surrounding areas, you deserve to have your medical expenses and personal losses compensated. We are on your side and don’t collect a dime unless you receive compensation for your claim. Our injury lawyers will gladly provide you with a free case review and answer any questions about your case.