Before you take to the road with your bicycle, read these useful tips to help keep you safe.
Always wear a helmet. Nearly one third of bicycle injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms are due to head injuries (Florida Dept. of Transportation). Make sure the helmet fits snug, level and covers your forehead.
Make yourself visible by using lighting. Over 50% of the fatal bicycle accidents in Florida occur after sunset (Florida Dept. of Transportation).
Because of the number of hills on our campus, it is very important to have good working brakes. Ensure that your brakes aren’t worn, and that your brakes open and close smoothly at the same pace.
Maintain the appropriate tire pressure for your bicycle.
Place the bicycle seat and handlebars at a comfortable height.
A signal of intention to turn must be given during the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning [316.155(2)(3)]. If a cyclist needs both hands for control, the signal need not be given continuously. The proper signal techniques are:
- Stopping - Extend your left hand and arm downward;
- Turning Right - Extend your right arm horizontally, or extend the left arm and hand upward;
- Turning Left - Extend your left hand and arm downward.
Laws You Need to Know
According to the Florida Uniform Traffic Control Laws (FUTC), bicycles are legally treated the same as vehicles [316.003(2)]. Therefore, cyclists have the same rights and duties on the roads as any other drivers, except concerning special regulations specifically for bicycles [316.2065(1)].
If you ride between sunset and sunrise, make sure your bike is equipped with working lamp on the front which is visible from 500 feet and a red light visible from 600 feet [316.2065(8)].
A cyclist must obey all applicable traffic control devices (traffic signals, signs, and markings) [316.074].
If the roadway is of sufficient width, a vehicle must be driven on the right half of the roadway [316.081].
A cyclist may not wear a headset, headphone or listening device, other than a hearing aid, while riding [316.304].
Cyclists may not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles [316.2065(6)].
It is unlawful to drive any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs [316.193].