Yes! In Florida, pedestrians always have the right of way. The law requires all vehicle drivers (including bicyclists) to yield and give right of way to pedestrians. This holds true whether the bicycle is riding on a sidewalk or road.
Why? Bicycle riders have to yield to pedestrians because pedestrians are much more vulnerable to injury than drivers and bicyclists in the event of a collision.
When a bicyclist rides on the sidewalk, he or she must give an audible signal before passing a pedestrian. This can be a bell, horn or the rider saying “passing left.”
When a cyclist rides on the road, he or she is bound by the rules for other vehicles like stopping on red and going on green. If the road lane is less than 14 feet wide it is considered a substandard lane and the rider can take up the entire lane.
Just like the driver of a motor vehicle, if a bicyclist hits a pedestrian, he or she may be held responsible for any injuries sustained.
An accident involving a pedestrian or bicyclist can have devastating consequences. Most of these accidents are the result of bicyclists being inattentive or negligent regarding the traffic rules. However, pedestrians must also act responsibly and abide by the rules of the road. Florida law allows an injured person who is partially liable for an accident with a bicyclist to recover damages for their injuries, but these damages will be reduced based if the pedestrian’s own actions contributed to or caused the collision to take place.
The law surrounding pedestrian and bicycle injuries can be complicated. These cases are not always handled the same as a traditional motor vehicle accidents from an insurance perspective and so an attorney who has never handled a case with a pedestrian or cyclist will have a steep learning curve. Contact us at 727-446-0840 to discuss your rights with an experienced attorney who has represented pedestrians and cyclists across the state of Florida.