There’s nothing quite like driving a motorcycle on the open road. There’s a brilliant freedom that only other bikers will understand that comes with the feeling of the wind rushing past and nearly nothing between you and wherever you want to go. Couple these sensations with the stunning ocean views that can be found in Florida and the gorgeous weather, and you’ve got what seems like a recipe for a good time.

Of course, a motorcycle ride can quickly go awry or dangerous if you’re not aware of a few things. The following will explore some things you might want to keep in mind if you’re driving a motorcycle in Florida in particular. Of course, some of this information will apply to other states and countries as well.

Motorcyclists Have The Same Rights As Drivers

This is a critical point to understand. A Florida motorcycle accident attorney pointed out that if you’re driving a motorcycle on the road, you are legally to be treated as someone driving a car on the road. This comes with both rights and responsibilities that you might want to be aware of.

It also means that you have a course of legal action if someone driving a motor vehicle does not share the road with you as if you were driving a car or if they make unsafe lane changes near you. This sort of behavior is illegal and puts you at risk. It’s not something you should simply deal with.

Helmet Requirements

In many places around the world, a helmet is legally required to be worn by a motorcyclist. In Florida, it’s a little bit more complicated than that. If you are over the age of 21 and have an insurance policy that covers you for at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries that occur as a result of operating a motorcycle, you are not legally required to wear a helmet. However, if a driver is under the age of twenty-one, they must wear a helmet at all times while riding a motorcycle regardless of their insurance policy.

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Handlebar Restrictions

Whether or not you’re aware of this, there are restrictions on the height of a motorcycle’s handlebars in Florida. They cannot be higher than the height of your shoulders. This regulation is to ensure that you are seated properly while driving your motorcycle.

There Is A Separate License For Motorcycle Driving In Florida

In Florida, a standard license does not cover motorcycle driving; a separate license is needed. It is granted after someone passes the Basic Rider Course (BRC), and this course is offered through the Florida Rider Training Program. If you already have a standard Florida driver’s license, you can get a motorcycle endorsement added to your current license through the course. If you don’t have a standard license, you can get a motorcycle-only license.

Motorcycle Jackets Have An Important Purpose

While you might be tempted to skip out on the motorcycle jacket, given how warm it often is in Florida, you might want to reconsider. It’s important to note that they aren’t just part of the classic motorcycle look; they’re also an important part of safety gear and should not be neglected for this reason.

The materials that motorcycle jackets are made out of are designed to help protect the skin should you end up skidding along the road. It’s unbelievably easy to get severely injured if you skid, and jackets can help to prevent some of the damage. It’s a good idea to find a jacket that is specifically a motorcycle jacket and ensure that it fits well.

Maintenance Is Critical

As with any other form of transportation, proper maintenance can mean the difference between a safe drive and an unsafe one. Taking the time to perform the basics of motorcycle maintenance is vital to keep yourself safe and your bike on the road for years to come. In legal situations as well, it can sometimes be determined negligence if an accident occurs as a result of a poorly maintained vehicle. Take your bike in for regular checkups.

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The above information can be incredibly helpful to those riding in Florida for the first time. Of course, nothing is more important than practicing safe, defensive driving. If you don’t feel comfortable driving somewhere, always listen to this gut feeling and spend some time practicing in a low-traffic, low-pressure environment. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. It’s also a good idea to revisit the rules of the road in Florida if you have been out of state for several years. There is a chance that things have changed, and you don’t want to find that out after you’ve been pulled over.