Before heading out on a bicycle to explore the beautiful Sunshine State, you need to know the laws that are most likely to affect you. Here, our West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers want to review the most important bicycle accident laws you need to be aware of before taking a leisurely ride or getting out there for some exercise on your bike.
Bicycle Helmet Laws in Florida
In the state of Florida, individuals are required to wear a bicycle helmet if they are 15 years of age or younger. This law applies to bicycle riders, passengers, and any individuals riding in trailers or semi-trailers attached to the bike. In order to be in compliance with the law, the helmet must:
- Be an actual bicycle helmet
- Fit the rider or passenger properly
- Include a strap that secures the helmet to the head
- Meet federal bicycle helmet safety standards
Bicycle Equipment Requirements
There are certain requirements regarding equipment that must be present on each bicycle. Every bicycle on the roadway must have a working brake. The break is required to enable the bicyclist to stop within 25 feet while going 10 mph on dry, clean, and level pavement.
Additionally, the bike must have a working headlight, tail light, and rear reflector. The headlight must be visible from at least 500 feet in front of the bike, and the tail light and rear reflector must be visible from at least 600 feet away from the rear of the bike.
Rules of the Roadway
Bicyclists in Florida are considered “vehicles,” and riders must obey all traffic signals and controls. Bicyclists are not allowed to go through a red light or run a stop sign, even if no traffic is coming. Additionally, bicyclists are required to use appropriate hand signals when turning right or left. Open
If a bicyclist is traveling slower than the normal speed of traffic and there is no bike lane available, the bicyclist is required to ride as far to the right side of the roadway as is practicable unless they are preparing for a turn, passing a vehicle, traveling on a one-way street, avoiding obstacles, or avoiding a mandatory turn lane.
Bicyclists do not have to ride in a bike “path” if there is one adjacent to the roadway, but they are required to use a bike “lane” if there is one available. Paths are not on the roadway, but lanes are.
Bicyclists are permitted to ride on the sidewalks in most places around Florida, but any bicyclist on a sidewalk is required to yield the right of way to pedestrians and give an audible signal before passing or overtaking a pedestrian. We encourage individuals to check local ordinances for any variations of bicycle sidewalk rules.
Bicyclists on the roadway or in a bike lane are not allowed to ride more than two side by side (two abreast).
Speak to a West Palm Beach Attorney After an Injury
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident caused by the negligent actions of another party, we encourage you to reach out to an attorney today. A skilled West Palm Beach bicycle accident lawyer can help you understand the options available for recovering compensation.