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How Are FL's New Bicycle Laws Working Out?

It is still unclear if the new bike laws in Florida are doing what they are meant to —reduce bike accidents. In 2020, 5,952 bicycle crashes occurred in Florida, 5,574 resulted in injuries, and 169 crashes resulted in death.

As of November 2021, 5,410 bicycle crashes occurred in the Sunshine State, resulting in 5,058 injuries and 147 deaths. While the numbers look promising, 147 people were still killed in bicycle crashes throughout the state. These statistics are from the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) Crash Dashboard.

What You Need to Know About SB 950

Last July, Gov. Desantis signed into law SB 950. The goal of this new legislation is to make Florida roadways safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. It includes several updated and new rules to help prevent dangerous bike accidents, including the following:

  • Updates and clarifications on the three-foot rule. Drivers driving behind a bicyclist must pass at a distance of more than three feet. This also applies when passing electric scooters, e-bikes, and pedestrians. If there’s not enough space to pass safely, drivers must stay behind the bicyclist and only pass when they could do so.
  • All bicyclists and motorists on the road are expected to follow the traffic control devices. If cyclists riding in groups are stopping at stop signs, they must only proceed in a group of not more than 10 after they come to a full stop. Motor vehicle drivers must always allow a group of cyclists to pass through the intersection before them.
  • Vehicles that are turning right while passing a bike could only do so if the bicyclist is 20 feet or more from the intersection and it’s safe for vehicles to turn.
  • Questions regarding bicycle and pedestrian safety must be added to the driver’s license examinations.
  • The FLHSMV is required to undertake public awareness campaigns every year to remind and let motor vehicle drivers know how they must drive around bicyclists on the road and people walking on the side of the road.
  • Bicyclists could pass other bicyclists by moving safely into the road, passing, and then going back to the bicycle lane.
  • In bicycle lanes that are not wide enough to accommodate two cyclists abreast, they must ride in a single file.

Talk to an Experienced Clearwater Bicycle Accident Lawyer Now

The vast majority of bicycle accidents occur because motor vehicle drivers do not pay enough attention to cyclists, fail to drive safely to suit the road conditions or fail to follow the rules about sharing the road safely with other road users. If you suffered serious injuries in a Florida bicycle accident, do not hesitate to reach out to Tragos, Sartes, & Tragos for legal guidance. You can speak to our experienced Clearwater, FL, bicycle accident lawyer to better understand your case, how much you can expect to recover and learn the best legal options for your case.

You can arrange your free case review with our skilled Clearwater bicycle accident lawyer by completing our online contact form or calling (727) 441-9030.