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Florida’s Bicycle Laws

November 5, 2023 Legal Team
bicycle on a florida beach with the caption: "Florida's Bicycle Laws that you need to know"

Every state seeks to protect cyclists through its bicycle laws, including Florida. Florida is a bicycling destination state filled with scenic bicycle routes like the Coast-to-Coast trail, The historic Gainesville Hawthorne Trail, and the island-hopping Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail. The Sunshine State’s year-round warm weather also makes it ideal for residents to use a bicycle for daily transportation to work and school.

Florida’s bicycle laws help to keep the bicycle-friendly state as safe as possible for cyclists. It’s important for riders to know the laws before they hop onto a bicycle for their daily commute, a family cycling excursion, or for exercise in the great outdoors.

Bicycle Laws for Florida Riders

Florida considers a bicycle a vehicle, so riders are subject to the same traffic laws as motorists, meaning they must yield the right of way, obey traffic signals, watch for pedestrians in crosswalks, and stop at stop signs. There are also rules that pertain specifically to bicyclists in Florida including the following:

  • Motorists must allow at least 3 feet of space between their vehicle and a bicycle when passing
  • Anyone under age 16 must wear a bicycle helmet
  • When sharing the road with vehicles, a cyclist must ride as far to the right as possible unless passing or avoiding hazards
  • Most towns in Florida allows cyclist to ride on sidewalks but they must yield the right of way to pedestrians and give an audible signal when overtaking pedestrians
  • Unless on a bike path, cyclists must ride no more than two abreast and must move to single file if impeding the flow of traffic
  • Bicycle riders must use hand signals to signal turns or change lanes
  • Florida’s DUI laws apply to cyclists since the state considers bicycles as vehicles

Cyclists in Florida have the same rights and responsibilities on the roads as motorists, but must also remain vigilant to the specific laws that apply to them.

Bicycle Safety Regulations in Florida

Despite the helmet law for cyclists in Florida requiring only those under the age of 16 to wear helmets, Florida encourages ALL riders to wear well-fitting helmets that fasten securely to prevent head injuries. Around 40% of all bicycle-related fatalities in Florida occur to riders who weren’t wearing helmets and suffered traumatic brain injuries in an accident.

The following safety rules apply to bike riders in Florida:

  • When riding at night, cyclists must have a white front headlight visible from at least 500 feet and a red rear light or reflector. It’s also recommended that they wear reflective clothing or reflective strips applied to their clothing
  • Bicycles must have working brakes with the ability to stop within 25 feet from a speed of ten miles per hour
  • Cyclists must not wear headphones or earplugs while riding unless they use an earbud in only one ear or they use a hearing aid device
  • Riders must keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times
  • Bicycles must carry only the number of passengers for which the bike is equipped with seats

Finally, parents are responsible for ensuring their children follow Florida’s laws and safety regulations while biking.

Cycling increases cardiovascular health and joint mobility while it reduces stress. It’s a health-friendly and eco-friendly option for local transportation and for physical fitness. By following Florida’s bicycle laws, riders minimize the risks of experiencing an accident while cycling.

Trust Shapiro | Delgado | Hofmann With Your Bicycle Accident Claim

At Shapiro | Delgado | Hofmann, our commitment to justice extends to all individuals, including bicyclists who may find themselves facing legal challenges after an accident. With a proven track record of successful cases, our firm has established itself as a reliable ally for those seeking legal representation in bicycle accident cases in Sarasota and Bradenton. To get the justice you deserve, contact us today by calling (941) 954-4000 or reach out online to schedule your free case evaluation.