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Bicycle Safety Tips: What You Need to Know

May 19, 2022

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Living in the Sunshine State has many benefits. From the beautiful weather and access to everything from rural landscapes to large cities, Florida living has a lot to offer residents who enjoy outdoor activities year-round.

Bicycling is one activity that is enjoyed by thousands of visitors and residents throughout the state. In fact, according to the League of American Bicyclists, Florida ranked in the top 16 percent of bicycle friendly states in 2022.

While riding a bicycle has its benefits, it is equally important to understand the traffic laws and requirements that you are required to abide by.

As you and your family enjoy riding your bicycles, here are three public safety tips you need to know:

1. Get the Right Gear

Wearing a properly fitted helmet is the most effective way to prevent a head injury with a bicycle crash. Anyone under the age of 16 is required by Florida Law to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, but a helmet is recommended for all bicyclists.

You are also required to ensure that the equipment on your bike is working properly. Bicycle gears, tires and brakes that are compromised may limit your ability to avoid an accident with a vehicle or pedestrian. For your safety and the safety of others, take a moment to check your bicycle before going out for a ride.

2. Follow Traffic Laws

According to Florida Statute, you have the same rights and duties as the driver of any other vehicle on the road – that includes the requirement to abide by all traffic laws and signals.

To do that, it’s important to understand the specific regulations that apply to bicyclists on the road. For example, here are three bicycle regulations to keep in mind:

  • If you are traveling slower than the normal speed of traffic you must ride in a bike lane or as close as possible to the right-hand curb. The exception to this rule occurs when overtaking a vehicle traveling in the same direction, when you prepare to turn left, and when it is reasonably necessary to avoid a conflict or condition. (Florida Statute 316.2065)
  • Bicyclists are not permitted to wear headset, headphones or other listening devices, other than a hearing aid. (Florida Statute 316.304)
  • When a vehicle overtakes, or passes, a bicycle they are required to allow at least 3 feet of space between the vehicle and bicycle. (Florida Statute 316.083)

In addition to learning about traffic laws for bicyclists, it is also important to recognize the signs, signals and markings that are used on the road. These signs may instruct you to use pedestrian signals before proceeding through an intersection or to use the full lane of traffic during a section of the road. Signs and signals implemented throughout Florida may vary, so it’s important to be aware of traffic signs that are along your route.

3. Be Seen and Heard

Assume that no one can see you. Bicycle accidents happen quickly, and they can have a devastating, lifelong impact.

Everyone who shares the road – whether a pedestrian, bicyclist or vehicle – has the responsibility to be aware of their surroundings for the safety of everyone involved. As you ride your bicycle, you need to make it as easy as possible for people to know that you are there.

To start, you should wear bright colored clothing and appropriate shoes. You should also be familiar with local traffic laws and use hand signals when turning left or right. While riding on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk, yield to pedestrians and let them know if you need to pass them by saying “passing on your left,” or with another audible signal.

For your safety, if you are riding after sunset, you are also required by Florida Law to have a headlight and taillight lamp and reflector for your bicycle.

To learn more about important laws, traffic signs and get additional bicycle safety tips, visit the Florida Department of Transportation Alert Today website at

You can also explore more tips and learn about the Florida Sheriffs Association’s Bicycle Safety Program at