In Florida, all ATVs, two-rider ATVs, or ROVs are off-highway vehicles because they are to be used off the roads or highways in Florida and their use and operation is regulated by Florida’s off-highway vehicle laws and rules.
Florida defines an ATV as any motorized off-highway and all-retain vehicle 55 inches or less in width which has a dry weight of 1,500 pounds or less, is designed to travel on three or more nonhighway tires, and is manufactured for recreational use by one or more persons. An all-terrain vehicle also includes a “two-rider ATV,” which is an ATV specifically designed by the manufacturer to carry a passenger. In Florida, generally, the operation of an ATV upon the public roads or streets is prohibited, except that an ATV may be operated during the daytime on an unpaved roadway where the posted speed limit is less than 35 miles per hour.
Florida defines an ROV as any motorized recreational off-highway vehicle 80 inches or less in width which has a dry weight of 2,500 pounds or less, is designed to travel on four or more nonhighway tires, and is manufactured for recreational use by one or more persons. An ROV does not include a golf cart or a low-speed vehicle (a low-speed vehicle is any four-wheeled vehicle whose top speed is greater than 20 miles per hour but not greater than 25 miles per hour.)
Only a licensed driver or a minor who is under the direct supervision of a licensed driver may operate ATV or ROV in Florida, as well as persons under 16 years of age must wear a safety helmet meeting United States Department of Transportation standards, eye protection (goggles), and over-the-ankle boots in order to operate, ride, or propel on an all-terrain vehicle and must have in his or her possession a certificate evidencing the satisfactory completion of an approved off-highway vehicle safety course in this state or another jurisdiction. A nonresident who has not attained 16 years of age and who is in Florida temporarily for a period not to exceed 30 days is exempt from this requirement.
Although off-highway vehicles are fun to ride, the ATV and ROV accidents are extremely dangerous and frequently result in serious injuries and fatalities. Most of the ATVs and ROVs accidents happen because of negligence or recklessness of the driver or another person, such as carrying more passengers than an ATV or ROV is specifically designed by the manufacturer to carry, operating an off-highway vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or any prescription or over-the-counter drug that impairs vision or motor condition, operating an off-highway vehicle without wearing eye protection, over-the-ankle boots, or a safety helmet, operating an ATV or ROV in a careless or reckless manner, etc.
In Florida, you are not required to carry bodily injury or property damage insurance on off-highway vehicles. For that reason, many riders choose not to purchase a separate policy to protect themselves and others while riding an ATV or ROV. However, if you were injured in an ATV accident as a result of another person’s fault, your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your automobile insurance policy or the at-fault party’s homeowner’s insurance policy may provide insurance coverage for your injuries.
If you have been involved in an ATV and ROV accident that you believe is the fault of another person, do not hesitate to contact us for a free non-obligation consultation. (386) 248-3000.