In Florida, are there bicycle laws that protect people riding bikes on the road?
Author: Attorney Jason Macri
Cycling in Florida has proven to be potentially very dangerous. Last year alone, hundreds of bicyclists were injured in accidents with automobiles. Many of those cyclists died due to the negligence of these drivers. It begs the question: Are there bicycle laws that protect people riding bikes on the road? The answer is YES.
In Florida, the bicycle is essentially treated the same as another vehicle on the road. The driver of the bicycle is also treated the same as a driver of an automobile. Bicyclists have the same rights while riding on the roadways and must obey the same traffic laws as other vehicles. The drivers of those other vehicles have a duty to ensure that they are aware of bicycles on the road and must ensure that they give them the same respect as they would to a driver of an automobile. Bicyclists must use lights at night, just like other vehicles, and are also allowed to use a flashing light on their bike in an effort to call attention to their presence.
Unfortunately, it does not appear that all automobile drivers give bicyclists the respect they deserve. Last year alone, nearly 100 people were killed in the State of Florida by drivers of automobiles who were drunk, distracted, or simply not paying attention. Although the law is clear regarding bicyclist rights, the general public may not be so aware of those rights.
The bicycle laws in Florida are clearly intended to show respect to the bicyclist and protect them from danger. More must be done however. There needs to be a shift in the way that the public, as motorists, treat a bicyclist that they encounter on the road. The motorist needs to be aware of the danger an automobile presents to a bicyclist and must approach the bicyclist with the upmost amount of care.
Accidents involving bicycles and automobiles are often devastating for the bicyclist. If a person becomes injured while riding a bicycle, they should seek medical attention immediately. After getting emergency care, they should contact a lawyer. The lawyer will ensure that the rights of the bicyclist are well protected and that the driver of the automobile is held liable for their negligence.