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What Laws Do Bicyclists in Ft Lauderdale Need to Know?

Our Bicycle Accident Lawyer Discusses Some Key Provisions

Many times, children learning to ride a bicycle in Ft. Lauderdale are told they need to follow the “rules of the road.” What is not always made clear, however, is that sometimes the rules of the road are different for bicyclists as well as for other vehicles when they are operating around bicycles. 

Our bicycle accident lawyer understands that the unique provisions applicable when bicyclists are on the roads can affect both a cyclist’s safety and their ability to recover compensation through a personal injury claim after a bicycle accident. Here is a brief overview of some key laws bicyclists in Ft. Lauderdale need to know. 

Drivers Are Supposed to Allow a Safe Distance While Passing

In theory, the laws create a safe atmosphere for bicycles to operate on the road with cars, trucks, and other large, heavy motorized vehicles. The reality, of course, is that drivers do not always obey the laws. 

One of the provisions that could protect bicyclists is set forth in Section 316.083 of the Florida Motor Vehicle Code. This law requires motorists passing bicycles to maintain a safe distance of at least three feet between their vehicle and the bicycle. Failure to allow adequate space while passing is a frequent cause of bicycle accidents and injuries in Ft. Lauderdale.

Our Bicycle Accident Lawyer Knows Motorists May Be Responsible for Door Accidents

If a moving bicyclist is injured in a collision with the open door on a stationary vehicle, the driver or their insurance company may try to blame the cyclist. However, Section 316.2005 of the Florida Motor Vehicle Code prohibits drivers and passengers from opening vehicle doors unless it can be done safely and “without interfering with the movement of other traffic.” 

Moreover, the law allows doors to be left open only long enough to let someone in or out. In many cases, therefore, a bicycle accident lawyer may be able to show that motorists failed to comply with these provisions and that the failure caused injuries to a cyclist. 

Important Considerations About Bike Lanes and Sidewalks

Many bicyclists believe that if a bike lane exists, they are required to use it and that they are never permitted to ride on the sidewalk. However, interpretation of the requirements for bike lanes and sidewalks can vary depending on circumstances. 

Section 316.2065(5) of the Florida Motor Vehicle Code requires bicycles to ride in the bike lane or as close to the right as possible, but the law makes several significant exceptions. Most notably, If a bicyclist needs to avoid a dangerous condition or potential conflict, they can ride in another part of the road. Moreover, Section 26-182 of the Ft. Lauderdale Code of Ordinances allows bicyclists to ride on sidewalks except in areas where there are signs prohibiting it. The law does require bicyclists to yield to pedestrians when riding on the sidewalk, however.

Our Ft. Lauderdale Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Explain the Laws that Apply in Your Case

The above provisions are only a small sample of the state and local laws bicyclists and motorists need to understand. If you are involved in a bicycle accident, it is a good idea to talk to a knowledgeable bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible to learn how the laws can be used to protect your rights and potentially enable you to obtain compensation for your injuries. For a free consultation to learn more, contact an experienced bicycle accident attorney at the Maus Law Firm now.

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