Rights to Safety That Florida Bicyclists Have on the Road
Bicycles share the road with motorists, which means they also have the same rights and must obey the same traffic laws. Unfortunately, accidents happen when people behave negligently on the road. Since bicyclists are not as well-protected as drivers or passengers in cars and other vehicles, their injuries are often catastrophic or fatal. It is important for bicyclists and motorists to understand Florida’s bicycle laws, so they can make the road a safer place.
Understanding Bicycle Classification and Definition
Under Florida law, bicyclists must follow the rules of the road when riding on roadways. That means, just as any other vehicle, they are expected to stop at stop signs and red lights, use lights in the evening, ride with traffic flow, and follow every other rule governing Florida roads. Although, when cyclists ride on sidewalks, Florida law considers them pedestrians. When riding on sidewalks, cyclists must yield to pedestrians and give an audible signal when passing pedestrians. Here are some basic rules bicyclists should follow:
- If traveling slower than the speed of traffic and there is no designated bike lane, bicyclists must ride as far to the right as practicable.
- Bicyclists are not required by law to use a bike path.
- Bicyclists must slow down and come to a complete stop when traffic devices signal red or when arriving at a stop sign.
- When passing a standing vehicle or one traveling in the same direction, bicyclists must exercise caution. Drivers of motor vehicles have to give at least three feet of clearance when passing bicyclists.
- In a bike lane, riders must either ride in a single file or as pairs of two.
Bicycle Equipment and Safety Requirements
Having the proper bicycle equipment and meeting certain safety requirements is essential in Florida. Some guidelines you should follow include:
- Check to ensure your bicycle’s safety equipment is working, including its gears, brakes, and tires.
- Bicycle riders and passengers under the age of 16 must wear a helmet. It should be properly fitted, with its strap securely fastened.
- Bicyclists should wear appropriate shoes, preferably sneakers or dedicated clipless shoes. They should not wear flip-flops or ride barefoot.
- Bicycles should be equipped with front and rear lights, reflectors, and bells or horns.
Following Cycling Laws and Regulations
Bicycle accidents could result in serious injuries, so it is important to reduce the likelihood of a collision by following Florida’s bike laws. Obeying the following laws could help keep you safe:
- The number of people on a bicycle must not exceed what the bike is designed to carry.
- Bicycles must be equipped with a working brake.
- Bicyclists must keep at least one hand on the handlebars while riding.
- Bicyclists are prohibited from using headphones, headsets, or other listening devices (besides a hearing aid) while riding.
- Bicycles must have a white light on the front and a red light and reflector on the rear when riding in low light or darkness.
- Bicyclists must have a fixed, regular seat for riding.
Speak to a Skilled Weston Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Bicycle Accident Case
If you were involved in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent or reckless person, you may be able to file a case / lawsuit and seek compensation. At Justin Morgan Law, our Weston Personal Injury Lawyers are prepared to provide the knowledgeable guidance you need to navigate every step of your claim.