Too often we read in the news about fatal accidents involving a cyclist in Florida roads. Many people ask about fault and liability in the event of these incidents. Even more riders are concerned about the lack of criminal action taken against negligent or even hostile automobile drivers when a cyclist is injured. Concerns about cyclist safety laws should be raised to your local state legislators. However, consider that it is already “illegal” to hurt or kill someoone with a car. Martin Law Firm aggressively prosecutes civil cases against car drivers who injure or kill cyclists. That being said, we’d rather you be safe and unhurt and not in need of our services. The first step in safety is to fully understand the rules of the road. Below we’ve written out a brief summary of the laws in Florida. This isn’t comprehensive, so we encourage you to educate yourself further.
A Bicycle is a Vehicle
Under Florida law, a bicycle is a vehicle and a bicyclist is a driver. The bicycle riders enjoy the same rights and must obey the same rules as a motor vehicle driver. A big difference is that the unarmoured biker is much more susceptible to injury when an accident occurs. Florida Statute 316.2065 contains the bicycle regulations. Some of the statutes deal with wearing protective gear while others dictate how a bicyclist may travel the roadways. A bicycle rider under the age of sixteen must wear a properly fitted helmet. Proper rules are extremely important since the number of accidents involving bicyclists is very high. A study done by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles looked at the number of bicycle injuries and fatalities that occurred on the highways during a ten year time span. The number of bicycle accident injuries in 2000 was about 4,585 and the number of fatalities in that year was 83. Ten years later, in 2009, the number of injuries stayed almost the same with around 4,376, and the number of fatalities increased to 100.