In Florida, bicyclists have the same rights to most roads as motor vehicles. Unless a traffic law dictates otherwise, riders may use lanes of traffic like any other vehicle, although they may need to ride on the side of the road or in a bike lane when those options are available.
When a motor vehicle strikes you while riding your bike through an intersection, either you or the driver may be at fault. This comes down to who had the right of way at the intersection.
If the intersection did not have any traffic signals or signage, the vehicle that arrived to the intersection first has the legal right of way. The same is true at four-way stops. If more than one vehicle arrives at the same exact time, the one to right has the right of way.
At intersections with traffic signals, both drivers and bike riders must adhere to those signals. Even though it’s common to see bicyclists roll through red lights if no vehicles are coming from adjacent streets, this is not legal. Riders are considered vehicles and must act likewise.
Circumstances unique to bike riders
It’s worth noting that sometimes, the sensors on traffic lights do not pick up the presence of bicycles, as they are much smaller than the average passenger vehicle. In this situation, riders may wait until it is safe to move across, even if it’s against a red light. But an even better option would be to cross the street using a crosswalk instead. You may need to walk your bike across, but it can be a safer way to move through.
If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident, you may need to seek compensation to cover your medical bills, lost time and work and other economic and noneconomic damages. Learn more by working with a skilled personal injury attorney at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh.