Bike Laws in Florida

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Bicycles might just seem like a fun and playful mode of transportation. Any time you’re braving the bustling roads of St. Pete, you are at risk of accidents and injuries. Whether you ride for leisure or convenience, it is crucial to be aware of the laws put in place that provide safety. 

We’ve compiled an overview of everything you need to know before you brave the roads via bicycle transportation. Read on to learn about road laws and discover just how similar the State of Florida treats vehicles versus bicycles and the drivers that operate them.

Bicycles and Vehicles

According to the State of Florida, a bicycle is considered a vehicle and the operator a driver. This being the case, many of the same laws and regulations are the same for both modes of transportation. 

In some cases, bikes and vehicles are kept separate on the roads. However, most rules are the same for both. (I.e. Stopping at stop signs/red lights, yielding to pedestrians, etc.)

Bike Lanes In Florida

While driving a car, you’ve likely found yourself to be sharing the roadway with a bicyclist at some point. When available, a bicyclist should adhere to designated bike lanes. 

However, there are circumstances that don’t offer such luxuries, in which case a bicyclist should ride as far to the right as possible, always riding with traffic. If there are no bike lanes available and you’re uncomfortable riding on the road, bicyclists are allowed to ride on sidewalks and pedestrian walkways. Although extra caution should be exercised, yielding to pedestrians.

Read More: Florida Pedestrian Safety Tips

How should bicyclists and cars interact on the roads?

When bikes and vehicles are passing one another, changing lanes, or yielding to one another, it can be tricky to stay safe when doing so. 

According to the laws put into place by the State of Florida, both bicyclists and vehicle drivers must be cautious around one another. Vehicles should give bicyclists plenty of room (3 feet) when passing. Bicyclists should be keenly aware of their surroundings when passing a car. 

Sharing the roads can be difficult for both types of drivers. Individuals driving a bicycle can be considered at a disadvantage when it comes to safety features. (Helmets are a must for anyone under 16, but are encouraged for bike drivers of all ages.) Signaling, speed control, headlights/tail lights, and visibility can be tricky to maintain personal safety, this is why a good sense of surroundings is crucial. 

Vulnerable User Law in Florida

Considering how a bicyclist is at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to safety, in other states they might be considered a vulnerable user. Essentially what this means is just that, when you’re driving a bike, you are vulnerable. However, the State of Florida does not recognize this as a law. 

All this means is that when it comes to seeking compensation for injuries related to vehicle/biking accidents, there aren’t any laws related to this, leaving room for an excellent attorney to help you seek maximum compensation on an individual basis.

If you’ve been injured in a biking accident and need legal representation, we have you covered. Give us a call today to chat about your case.

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