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Laws Concerning Helmets and Trikes

Oldham & Smith Aug. 8, 2018

Florida & Georgia Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Today in the United States, there are many states with differing laws concerning the use of helmets and other protective equipment when riding a motorcycle. There are also many laws that differ greatly concerning trikes, such as the Can-Am Spyder. Even neighboring states can have drastically different laws. If you want to avoid costly tickets and the hassle of dealing with law enforcement, you must keep abreast of state laws. This is especially important when you are taking road trips in and out of multiple states.

Important Laws for Florida and Adjacent States

Currently, there are 19 states in the US that require all motorcyclists to wear helmets at all times while riding. Additionally, there are 28 states that only require helmet use when certain stipulations are not met. The only 3 states in the US that do not have any helmet laws are Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire.

Georgia and Alabama are both states that fall under the 19 states that have mandatory universal helmet laws. They both mandate that any person who operates a motorcycle must wear an approved helmet designed for motorcycles, at all times, or face applicable fines.

Florida is part of the 28 states that have a little bit more leniency concerning the use of helmets and protective headgear. The law in Florida requires the use of a helmet at all times if the person operating the motorcycle is under 21 years of age. If you are 21 or older, you are not required to wear a helmet as long as you carry at least $10,000 of medical insurance coverage that applies to motorcycles. It is important to know that the PIP covered by your car insurance does not count as medical coverage on a motorcycle. Additionally, if you choose to forgo your helmet, you must make sure to be properly equipped with eye protection to keep yourself safe and legal. Approved eye protection is required at all times whether you are wearing a helmet or not, including open-faced or half helmets.

Laws Regarding Trikes

Most states in the US require some kind of training and endorsement in order to legally ride a trike. In the case of Florida law, a motorcycle endorsement will allow you to ride a trike, however, you can also take a trike-only course which allows you to ride a trike, but not a regular 2-wheeled motorcycle. Alternatively, Alabama does not stipulate a difference between trikes and motorcycles, so there is only one endorsement you can receive to ride both. Always check with the specific state’s DMV if you are worried about the legalities of riding a trike in your area, or when crossing state lines, especially if you do not have a full motorcycle endorsement.

While trikes were designed to not only update the design of these types of motor vehicles, they were also designed with safety in mind, as trikes no longer require the strength and balance to maneuver that two-wheeled motorcycles do. However, even with this upgrade, trikes still lack basic safety features like seat belts and airbags, and are completely open on all four sides, meaning any accident on a trike has the potential to be very serious, or even fatal.

Knowledgeable attorneys on your side

If you are planning a trip, or are just confused about the laws in your state concerning motorcycles, contact us today. The experienced legal team at Oldham & Smith have decades of experience with cases involving motorcycles and trikes, and are here to help you navigate the myriad of motorcycle-related laws.