The number of bicycle-related accidents in Florida has almost tripled over the past few years. While a lot more people are riding bicycles for both health and eco-friendly purposes, Florida laws that pertain to both cyclists and drivers are often unknown or disregarded entirely. Simply knowing what these laws are - whether you are a cyclist or driver - can save lives.
Here are some simple facts that you should know about riding a bicycle in Florida or driving in Florida where there are cyclists.
Laws for Cyclists
- If you are not riding as part of a lane of traffic, you should be riding on designated bicycle paths - not weaving in and out of traffic.
- If no bicycle lane exists, you must ride as close to the edge of the road as possible.
- All cyclists must ride with traffic - never against traffic.
- Cyclist signals must be used to indicate turns (arm movements are universal)
- Cyclists under the age of 16 must wear a helmet at all times. Cyclists over the age of 16 should seriously consider wearing a helmet - it can save your life!
- A rear reflector, front light, and backlight must be used at all times during night rides.
- It is not legal to wear a headset or headphones while riding a bicycle.
- There are many additional laws that pertain to cyclists. These laws should be read and understood prior to hitting the streets with your bicycle.
Laws for Drivers
In the state of Florida, bicycles are considered vehicles just as cars are considered vehicles. This means that drivers must take into account the safety and relevance of cyclists while driving. Here are some additional laws to keep in mind.
- Drivers must keep three feet away from cyclists when a cyclist is riding on the side of any road.
- It is not lawful to pass a cyclist if a bicycle is in a driving lane when no road shoulder or bike path is provided.
- Drivers can be at fault if cross a bike path to park and not checking to see if a cyclist is approaching.
- A cyclist that signals a turn properly must be acknowledged - drivers must be aware of cyclist signals.
If you have recently been injured in a bicycle-related accident (whether you were the driver or cyclist), you may be entitled to compensation. Call us today for your FREE case evaluation - we want to get you the compensation that you deserve! You can reach us at (800) 391-4337 or schedule a consultation online.