Summer is quickly approaching. This increases the use of bicycles on the road. It is important to follow bicycle safety rules since there are numerous accidents and deaths on bicycles each year. In fact, in 2016 there were 840 bicyclists killed in traffic crashes in the United States. To assist you in avoiding being the victim of a bicycle crash, we would like to share the following guidelines for bicycle safety:
Riding a bicycle in Florida is governed by Florida Statutes §316.2065. Some of the pertinent statutes are as follows:
- If you are riding a bicycle on the roadway, you have the same rights and responsibilities as a driver a motorized vehicle. §316.2065(1) Florida Statutes
- If you are riding a bicycle on the sidewalk you have the same rights and responsibilities as a pedestrian. §316.2065(9) Florida Statutes
- Anyone under the age of 16 years old must wear a bicycle helmet. §316.2065 (3)(d) Florida Statutes
In the State of Florida, anyone under the age of 16 must wear a helmet. However, for your own safety, even if you are 16 years old or older, it is best to wear a helmet.
Ensure that your helmet fits correctly. Size can vary by manufacturers. You can find directions on how to properly fit a helmet and a comprehensive list of helmet sizes according to manufacturers by going to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute website. https://helmets.org/index.htm
Tips on Avoiding Crashes
There are things you can do to decrease your risk of injury.
- Ride a bike that fits you.
- Ride a bike that works. You should have your bike tuned up regularly to ensure that the brakes, chain and tires work correctly.
- Wear appropriate safety gear, including a bike helmet, bright clothing during the day, reflective clothing at night, and proper shoes.
- Tuck and tie your shoe laces and pants legs so they do not get caught in the chain.
- Ride one person per seat.
- Ride with both hands on the handlebars.
- Carry your items in a secure backpack or strap them to the back of the bike.
- Plan your route. Try to find routes that have bike lanes. If your route does not have a bike lane, try to find roads that have less traffic and slower speeds.
- Pay attention to the other drivers on the road. Anticipate that the other drivers on the road will not see you.
- Drive in the same direction as traffic.
- Obey street signs, signals and road markers. Remember you have the same rights and responsibilities as a motorized vehicle if you are on the road.
- Look ahead for road hazards such as potholes, pebbles, grates and train tracks.
- Do not text while biking or listen to loud music so that you cannot hear the traffic around you.
Riding bikes is enjoyable, especially in this great Florida weather. However, sometimes accidents occur unexpectedly despite your best planning. If you are injured in a bicycle crash caused by someone else, contact your personal injury attorneys in Jacksonville at Lindell, Farson & Zebouni, P.A. in Jacksonville, Florida for a free consultation to discuss your rights.
For more information on bicycle safety see the following website: