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Are helmets and eye protection required for Florida bikers?

With the holidays upon us, some Florida residents will head on out the open roads on motorcycles to enjoy the bountiful sun. No matter how safe some motorcycle riders are, there is still the chance that they will be involved in an accident because other drivers aren't being as careful as they should. Because of that, motorcyclists should ensure that they are taking proper steps to ensure they remain as safe as possible. There are several things motorcyclists can do to stay safe on the roadways.

Do I have to wear a helmet?

In Florida, riders who are under 21 years old must wear an approved helmet when on a motorcycle. Riders who are older than that aren't required to wear a helmet if they can prove they have at least $10,000 of insurance coverage for injuries that result from a motorcycle crash. Even when that coverage is available, wearing a helmet is still advisable because they can help to minimize the dangers associated with head injuries.

Do I have to wear eye protection?

Wearing eye protection, such as goggles or a face shield, is required in Florida. Tinted eye protection isn't allowed at night if it affects the ability to see in color. The eye protection has to be free of defects and be in good repair to meet the requirements of the state's statutes.

Even when motorcyclists are wearing the required safety gear, accidents can still happen. If an accident does happen, the motorcyclist might have the option of seeking compensation from the driver who caused the accident. Knowing about those rights might help them to decide what to do.

Source: Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, "2013 Florida Motorcycle Handbook" Dec. 15, 2014

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