Riding a motorcycle can provide hours of enjoyment. This article lays out some of the basic information you need in order to maximize your fun while riding legally and safely.
According to Florida laws, motorcyclists (regardless of age) with a motorcycle 50 cc and larger must take and pass the state-run Basic Rider Course to have (1) a motorcycle endorsement added to their drivers license, (2) a motorcycle-only license, or (3) an S-restricted license (limiting the driver to three-wheeled motorcycles).
The Basic Rider Course offers training that will enhance the safety of riding a motorcycle. Here is a partial list of skills the course teaches for safe operation of a motorcycle:
- Mental and physical preparedness
- Physical impairment awareness
- Necessity of proper riding gear
- Proper use of the motorcycle controls
- Effective techniques for proper clutch and throttle control
- Starting and stopping, swerving, turning and maneuvering at slow speeds
- Strategies needed to interact with other traffic
- Effective turning
- Protective apparel selection
- Obstacle avoidance
- Responsible attitudes
The Helmet Law in Florida says that you must wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. However, it is possible to get a “Helmet Exemption” if you are at least 21 years old and have an insurance policy with a minimum of $10,000 in medical benefits. Other recommended equipment includes the following:
- Long pants
- Over-ankle footwear
- Long sleeve shirt
- Protective eyewear
- Full-fingered gloves
Ride Proud, Dress Loud
Even if you have prepared yourself with the best training and equipment, riding a motorcycle is fraught with danger. One reason is because motorcycle riders have low visibility to other vehicles on the road. It is unfortunately common that a driver of a car or a truck may not even notice a motorcycle until it is too late. For this reason, the state of Florida has developed a program to encourage motorcyclists to make themselves more visible – and conspicuous – so they are less likely to have their right-of-way violated by other vehicles.
Following are some of “Ride Proud, Dress Loud” apparel safety tips:
- It is important to wear clothing that is protective AND visible all day and night.
- Clothing that is black or any other neural color makes riders more inconspicuous and less visible. Instead, riders should wear brightly colored upper-torso clothing.
- In addition to wearing bright colored clothing, motorcyclists can make their bike more visible by painting it a brighter color and/or adding eye-catching decals.
- Reflective decals or materials can also be worn on clothing and on the bike to increase visibility.
There are plenty of riding adventures on the road ahead for you; embrace them while being legal and safe.
For more information on safe motorcycle riding in Florida, please visit Wittmer & Linehan PLLC at www.ResultsMatterFl.com