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Although Florida’s residents—and tourists—love cycling, it is not the safest pastime. Each year, about 100 cyclists die in bike wrecks. Florida is more dangerous for cyclists than many other states. Part of that is due to the thriving tourist industry. Out-of-town drivers may not know to look out for people on bikes. Plus, people may be sightseeing in unfamiliar areas instead of focusing on riding their bikes.

Other factors contribute as well. Florida’s year-round good weather means people enjoy activities outside more than other states. Plus, the high number of retirees means people who may have learned traffic laws in other states are on the roads. Intoxication in party areas and the conditions can be treacherous. Whatever the cause, a wreck can be devastating. If you have been injured in a bike accident, a Pace bicycle accident lawyer may be able to help. Reach out to one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today to seek the justice you deserve for the losses you should have never experienced.

Causes of Bike Accidents

Several issues contribute to the high number of bicycle accidents in Florida. Florida is a driver’s state. With plenty of space to spread out, things are not within walking distance. To accommodate this, cities and towns are built for drivers. However, Florida is also a tourist state, with many people riding bicycles. Many cyclists ride in dangerous locations without the correct infrastructure, putting them at a higher risk of accidents. When road conditions contribute to a crash, there may be third-party liability.

Negligence is at the root of most bike wrecks. Drivers are distracted and not paying attention to their surroundings. They may also be ignorant of the rules for sharing the road with people riding bikes. Drivers may be speeding, running stop signs or lights, driving in bike lanes, or more. All of those behaviors increase the risk of collisions. A seasoned Pace bicycle accident attorney could explain the role of negligence in these collisions.

Bicycle Laws in Florida

Florida’s bicycle laws are laid out in Florida Statutes § 316.2065. Generally, cyclists must follow the same rules as drivers on the road. When cyclists are on sidewalks, they act as pedestrians, but other pedestrians still have the right-of-way. Otherwise, riders need to follow the rules of the road.

However, there are some special rules for bike riders. They must stay in the far righthand lane or on a bike path when available. They can also ride on sidewalks. They can ride two abreast if doing so will not block traffic—otherwise, they should be single file. If the cyclist is 16 or older, they do not have to wear a helmet. However, children 15 and younger must wear helmets. They must be able to hear traffic—they can only use headphones if they use a single earbud or headphone. No cycling while intoxicated.

The law also dictates the bike’s conditions. If biking at night, the bike must have reflectors and front lights. All bikes must have brakes that will stop within 25 feet at a speed of 10 miles per hour. With exceptions for small children, a bike can only carry as many people as it has seats.

Even if a cyclist was not following Florida law, they may be able to recover in a lawsuit. Florida is a comparative negligence state. That means that contributing to the wreck does not bar recovery. A qualified lawyer in Pace can explain how comparative negligence might impact a specific bicycle accident claim.

Schedule a Consultation With a Pace Bicycle Accident Attorney

Cycling is an excellent mode of transportation. It is suitable for the environment and great for the body. However, in Florida, it is also risky. Suppose you or a loved one were injured in a cycling accident. In that case, you need to know about your legal rights and responsibilities. Schedule a consultation with a Pace bicycle accident lawyer for more information.