Many cyclists are unsure what Florida law requires them to do about signaling. Florida statutes 316.155 and 316.156 require cyclists to signal their intention to turn left or right. This can be done either by using hand signals or signal lamps.
The law also requires an appropriate signal (when there is an opportunity to do so) before stopping or suddenly decreasing speed. Often, cyclists ignore this when they are not riding in a group, but they shouldn’t. The customary stop or slow down signal should be used to communicate your intentions to surrounding traffic for your safety.
In group rides, the following riders rely on those ahead of them giving the stop and slowing signal. Likewise, following riders rely on those ahead to signal road conditions such as holes, hazards or obstruction.
Consistent use of signals whether riding alone or in a group will definitely reduce the chance of a collision with a vehicle or a fellow rider.
Jim Dodson is an experienced bicycle accident lawyer, cyclist and bicycle safety advocate who has been representing accident victims for over 25 years. Although his primary office is in Clearwater, he represents injury victims throughout Florida. He is the author of the Florida Bicycle Accident Handbook which answers the most commonly asked questions by injured cyclists.
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