If you ride a bicycle in Florida, it is important that you have a grasp of Florida bicycle laws. This is because these laws dictate the requirements for bicycle equipment and how bicyclists should behave in traffic.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, and have questions about how Florida bicycle laws may relate to your injury claim, you can seek help from a bicycle accident lawyer.
Overview of Florida Bicycle Laws
According to Florida bicycle laws, a bicycle is:
” … A vehicle propelled solely by human power, and every motorized bicycle propelled by a combination of human power and an electric helper motor capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of not more than 20 miles per hour on level ground upon which any person may ride, having 2 tandem wheels, and including any device generally recognized as a bicycle though equipped with 2 front or 2 rear wheels.”
Requirements Established By Florida Bicycle Laws Mandate That:
- A bicyclist must ride on the right side of the road, as long as the road’s width is sufficient;
- a bicycle operated between sunset and sunrise must be equipped with a lamp on the front, which gives off a white light that can be seen from a distance of 500 feet;
- a bicycle operated between sunset and sunrise must be equipped with a red reflector and a lamp on the rear, which gives off a red light that can be seen from a distance of 600 feet;
- a bicyclist must use a fixed and regular seat when riding; and
- all bicycles must be equipped with sufficient brakes that permit the operator to stop within 25 feet while operating at a speed of 10 mph on “dry, level, clean pavement.”
Florida Bicycle Laws & Bicyclist Responsibilities
In addition to the previously mentioned regulations, Florida bicycle laws dictate the rules for signaling and turning, stopping completely and riding on limited access highways.
Some additional bicyclist responsibilities mandated by Florida bicycle laws include:
- bicyclists must indicate a turn within the final 100 feet traveled before turning;
- bicyclists must extend their hands to indicate their intention to make a turn;
- bicyclists may not ride on an interstate highway;
- bicyclists shall obey traffic signals;
- bicyclists may not operate a bike under the influence of drugs or alcohol; and
- bicyclists shall exercise care to avoid collisions with any pedestrian or any person operating a human-powered vehicle.
Those regulations are meant to prevent serious injury or death. Keep in mind that a violation of Florida bicycles laws can lead to penalties and fines.
Florida Bicycle Laws & Your Personal Injury Claim
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in Florida, you may be eligible for compensation in a personal injury claim. To receive compensation, you will have to file a claim with the responsible party’s insurance company. Before filing a claim, a bicycle accident lawyer can help determine the value of your damages.
Florida bicycle laws can profoundly affect your personal injury claim, though. This is because if you were in violation of Florida bicycle laws, you may be considered partially at fault for the accident. If you were at fault, your compensation may be reduced by your own percentage of negligence. For an explanation of Florida’s negligence laws, you can speak to an attorney that has experience with bicycle accident cases.