One of the most common questions we get from cyclists is “do I need to ride in the bike lane if one is available.” The statute in Florida is pretty clear that if a bike lane is present on the road, the cyclist is required to be in the bike lane. My view is that this is a marked, designated bike lane not just part of the pavement to the right of the fog line, which is simply the shoulder.
The reason that this is important is because if you’ve been involved in a crash and there is a designated bicycle lane and you were not in that lane and this contributed to the accident then you could be partially at fault based on what the statute says. This could be a huge issue of comparative fault which would reduce the value of a potential claim.
My general advice is to ride where it’s safest but we have to bear in mind that if a bike lane is present we are required to use it or it could negatively affect your case later.