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Understanding Florida's Auto Laws: A Guide for Drivers
Driving in Florida can be a challenge – and that’s before our unique set of auto laws. Whether you’re a native or just visiting, it can be confusing to know what is and isn’t allowed. That said, it’s important to stay informed and adhere to the law to stay safe on the road.
In this guide, our attorneys provide an overview of Florida’s auto laws so drivers have a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities while operating a vehicle.
Exploring the Road Ahead with Florida’s Auto Laws
Not only do these laws protect you on the road, but they also determine what happens if you’re involved in an accident.
With the help of our personal injury lawyers, local drivers can navigate these laws with ease and stay safe behind the wheel.
#1. Florida is a No-Fault State
First, it’s important to know that Florida operates under a “no-fault” system when it comes to car accidents. This means that each driver’s insurance company covers their medical bills and lost wages regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
However, this doesn’t mean liability is irrelevant— you can still sue for damages exceeding your insurance coverage or if there are serious injuries or permanent disabilities.
#2. Florida’s Seat Belt Law
Another key law to understand is Florida’s seat belt law.
- In Florida, all passengers must always wear a seatbelt.
- No matter where they sit, passengers under the age of 18 must always buckle up.
- Children under the age of 4 years must be restrained in a child safety seat that has received government approval.
- 4 to 5-year-olds must be restrained in a child booster seat, integrated child seat, or child restraint seat that has received government approval.
The safety that a seat belt provides cannot be overstated. Before you put the car in drive, buckle up.
#3. Florida’s Distracted Driving Laws
Texting and driving has become a BIG problem throughout the country since the advent of smartphones. In 2013, Florida enacted the “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law” and it has been in effect ever since.
In Florida, texting while driving is considered a “primary offense.” This means that law enforcement can stop and cite you even if you weren’t speeding or running a red light.
Note: The law does not prohibit the use of “hands-free” mode on your phone or GPS device.
The following circumstances are also excluded:
- Stationary vehicles
- Emergency personnel
- Drivers using a self-driving vehicle in autonomous mode
- Drivers reporting an emergency or crime to law enforcement
#4. Personal Injury Protection Insurance
In Florida, personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is mandatory for all drivers. It is a type of no-fault insurance that covers medical expenses and lost wages in the event of an accident. The law requires a minimum coverage of $10,000 per person.
If you are involved in an accident, your PIP insurance will cover up to 80% of your medical expenses and 60% of your lost wages. This coverage does have some restrictions, though. For instance, if your injuries do not require emergency treatment or you fail to seek medical attention within 14 days of the accident, you may be limited to only $2,500 in benefits.
It is important to note that PIP insurance does not cover property damage or liability for damages caused by the insured driver.
Though the limit is $10,000 minimum coverage per person, we recommend carrying coverage beyond this limit in case of an accident where your injuries exceed this amount.
#5. Florida’s “Move Over” Law
When driving on a two-lane highway in Florida, the “Move Over” Law requires drivers to slow their car to 20 mph less than the posted speed limit, and if police vehicles or road rangers are parked along an interstate, drivers must move their car to the far lane away from the stopped vehicles.
If drivers do not follow this law, they will be subject to fines.
Stay Safe When Exploring the Sunshine State
By understanding Florida’s auto laws, you can ensure your safety and the safety of others. Remember, knowledge is power—do your research and stay safe! It is essential to stay aware of the legal guidelines that come with driving a vehicle, as well as any rights you may have if you suffer an injury or damages due to another driver’s negligence.
By educating yourself on these topics, you can protect yourself and your family from harm while on the road in Florida.
If you are in an accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to our personal injury lawyers at Mickey Keenan P.A. Your fight is our fight and we are ready to support you in getting the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a FREE case review at 813-871-1300.