Have you been involved in a bike accident? It’s not at all uncommon. 843 bicyclists were killed in biking accidents in 2019 alone.
Unfortunately, the rules and laws around bicycles aren’t discussed as often as those around motor vehicles.
If you’ve been in a bike accident in Florida, here are the bicycle laws you need to know.
Florida Bicycle Laws You Need To Know
Bikes exist in some sort of gray area between vehicles and pedestrians. It makes sense, as bikes can be found in both places. This makes Florida bike laws somewhere between the two, as well.
Generally speaking, a bicyclist must obey all traffic lights and signals, just like someone operating a vehicle. This includes when a bike is in a space intended for pedestrians. It also applies to minors who are operating a bicycle.
A bicycle must also not carry more occupants than it’s intended for. It must also include a fixed, regular bicycle seat. Every bicycle must have working brakes that are capable of stopping a bike within 25 feet when riding at 10 miles per hour, as well.
These rules apply when a bike is on the sidewalk or some other space intended for pedestrians. The person riding the bike is also required to give some form of audio alert to pedestrians that they’re passing.
A bicyclist is also required to keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times.
Florida Bicycle Traffic Laws
In Florida, bicyclists need to ride as close to the sidewalk as possible. There are exceptions, of course, such as when you’re going to make a left-hand turn or need to avoid some form of obstacle. It also includes when a lane is too narrow for both a bike and a car.
The rules are slightly different for one-way streets, as well, where there are at least two lanes. In these circumstances, Florida bicycle laws dictate that the person riding a bike needs to ride as close as possible to the left-hand edge.
Riders riding two abreast must stay in one lane. They must also avoid obstructing traffic.
Bicyclists not traveling at the same rate as traffic must remain in a dedicated bike lane. If there’s no bike lane available, the bicyclist must stay as close to the right curb as possible.
Bicyclists must follow specific criteria for making turns. For bicyclists making a left turn, they must begin by scanning for traffic and making sure it’s safe to turn. They must then use a hand signal that they’re preparing to turn.
Next, a bicyclist taking a left turn needs to move to the center of their lane. They must obey traffic signals, just like a car or truck. Once the traffic signal permits and traffic is clear, they are clear to make their turn.
As you can see, Florida bicycle laws aren’t too complicated but there are some things that are a little confusing. Knowing your rights and how to operate a bike safely means you can relax and focus on enjoying your ride!
Looking For Florida Legal Representation?
Have you been involved in an accident or injured in an accident? We understand how that can derail your life. We also understand all of the laws and regulations around accidents of all kinds.
If you’re looking for someone who understands bicycle laws in Florida and will work tirelessly to get you what you deserve, contact us today and let us know how we can help you!