Riding a bike provides great cardiac exercise, but you should always protect yourself by following traffic laws when on the road. Like many states, Florida has some laws that apply specifically to cyclists.
Review these safety regulations before your next trip on two wheels.
Florida mandates bike helmet use by children ages 16 and younger. Although helmets are optional for adults, using one may prevent traumatic brain injury in a collision. Make sure the helmet fits correctly and always secure the strap before riding.
In general, bikers must follow the same traffic laws as motorists when sharing the roadways. You and another cyclist may ride side-by-side in the same lane without impeding the flow of traffic.
Stay as far to the right as possible and travel in the same direction cars are traveling. You can move to the left only to avoid an obstacle or to make a left turn. Use the bike lane wherever one is available. You must stop for both red lights and stop signs.
In addition, all vehicles, including bikes, must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. When you decide to ride on the sidewalk, you must yield to pedestrians and warn them of your approach when passing on either side.
If you ride your bike after dark, you must outfit it with a white headlight that others can see from at least 500 feet away. Your bike must also have a rear tail lamp and reflector that others can see from at least 600 feet away.
Your bike must have a fixed, permanent seat. If you carry a passenger, the bike must have two fixed, permanent seats. The bike’s brake must allow you to stop from a speed of 10 miles per hour within 25 feet on a flat, dry surface.
Following these laws can help you avoid a motor vehicle collision. These incidents often result in serious injuries for cyclists.