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Do I have to obey all the same traffic laws as cars and other vehicles?
In the state of Florida, a bicycle is considered a vehicle. Therefore, when you are riding a bike you are subject to all the same traffic rules and regulations. Proper turn signaling, adequate safety equipment, and obeying traffic lights and signs are your responsibility. You also get to enjoy the rights of the road including access to the left hand turning lane.
What are the most common types of bicycle accidents?
If you are involved in a bicycle accident, you assume much greater risk than other vehicles that may be involved. It is important to know what accidents are likely to occur so you can always consciously try to avoid them. Some of the most common types of accidents include:
- Intersection accident
- Motorist entering road from driveway or alley
- Left turn in front of an oncoming bicyclist
- Overtaking vehicle trying to pass bicyclist
- Bicycle entering from driveway or alley
- Bicycle making a left turn in front of traffic
- Right turn in front of bicyclist
Are bicycle accidents covered by insurance?
If you are involved in a bicycle accident where the other vehicle is at fault, their insurance will usually cover the damages. If the accident is your fault or the other vehicle does not have coverage, you may be covered under your vehicle’s personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
Make sure you report the accident to the police as soon as possible to establish a record of the accident. While accidents involving more than $500 worth of damage or personal injury must be reported, you are not prevented from reporting accidents that do not meet those requirements.
What are the laws governing bicycles in Florida?
Florida law encourages motorists and bicyclists to share the road. Some bicycle regulations include:
- Obey all traffic laws
- Bicycles must have a fixed seat
- No bicycle can carry more people that what the bike is designed for
- One hand must be on the handlebars when riding
- Local ordinances may further quantify these regulations
Remember, since you are considered a vehicle, you have the same rights and the same responsibilities of other vehicle operators.
What should I do if I am involved in a bicycle accident?
If you are injured in a bicycle accident, seek medical attention right away. A physician should examine you even if you don’t have any obvious injuries. This helps you to establish a base line of facts about the accident. Some injuries are not obvious until days or weeks after the accident.
Some other things you should do to ensure your rights are protected:
- File a police report even if the damages are less than $500
- Cooperate with the other party’s insurance company, but do not admit to any fault or wrongdoing
- Take pictures of your injuries and the accidents site
- Keep a log of your recovery
If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident in Orlando or anywhere in Florida, please contact the accident lawyers at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter to schedule a free initial consultation. Our firm can be reached through the form on this page or by dialing (407) 712-7300.