With summer approaching and temperatures on the rise, more people are riding their bicycles. It reminds us at Cutler Rader of a very sad case in which our client’s wife, while obeying Florida traffic laws, was killed by a negligent driver while riding her bicycle. Through hard work, experience, visiting the scene and conducting a thorough investigation, Cutler Rader was able to secure all available insurance coverage for the family who suffered the loss. But, obviously no amount of money could possibly replace her. So, we thought we’d offer this advice.
If you are a bicyclist, or sharing the road with one, you need to be certain that you are doing so within the law.
Under Florida law, a bicycle is legally defined as a vehicle, and bicyclists are considered drivers. Therefore, bicycles and vehicles have the same rights and the same rules. In the same aspect, when riding on the sidewalks or in crosswalks a bicyclist has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian.
- Stop for stop signs and red lights
- Ride with the flow of traffic
- Use lights at night
- Yield the right of way when entering a roadway and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
According to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, there are several rules and regulations that should be followed according to Florida Law that many times go overlooked.
A bicycle rider who is under 16 years old must wear a helmet that is properly fitted and fastened.
A bicycle operating between sunset and sunrise must be equipped with proper lighting and reflectors.
A signal of intention to turn must be given by the bicyclist during the last 100 feet of traveling before turning.
A bicyclist must not wear a headset, headphones, or any other listening device when riding.
BSO also advises that “nearly 60% of all adult fatal bicycle accidents in Florida occur during twilight and night hours.” To ensure your safety while riding at night, you should be aware of the following dangers:
- Motor vehicle drivers potentially under the influence of alcohol
- The inability of motorists to see what is ahead of them
- Roadways with a higher speed limit
Lastly, a helpful tip for night riders: when a car approaches from the rear at night, watch your shadow as it is cast by the headlights. If it moves to the right as the car nears, the driver has moved to the left to pass. If it is stationary, the driver may not have detected you and be sure to move out of the way!
If you’ve been injured in an accident, call Cutler Rader at (954) 913-CASE (2273) or visit us at www.CutlerRader.com. We’re happy to answer your questions and the consultation is free.