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Bicycle Riders and the Law in Florida

Bicycle rider Rodney Snyder, 39, is dead following an accident involving a car on State Road 189. The Crestview, Florida resident was traveling northbound, on the shoulder of the road when Shalimar resident William Linder, 65 slammed into him with his Toyota sedan.

Linder was not injured during the accident, which occurred in January. It remains unclear why he drifted over to the shoulder where Snyder was riding his bike. The police have ruled out alcohol as a factor in the tragedy.

Snyder was reportedly not wearing a helmet. Although not required by Florida’s bicycle statute for riders over 16, most safety experts recommend a helmet always be used. Under this law, bicyclists are considered to be the same as motorists when it comes to using city streets and state highways. They are required to follow all the same traffic laws that motorists must follow. In addition:

  • Bicyclists must have working brakes.
  • Bicycles ridden at night must be equipped with at least one bright white-colored light on the front and have a rear reflector and a red light that can be seen at least 600 feet away.
  • Bicycles may be ridden on sidewalks in most parts of the state unless local law prohibits it. When bicyclists ride on the sidewalk, they are considered to be like pedestrians.
  • Bicyclists should ride as close as possible to the right side of the road without endangering themselves. Riding two abreast is permitted only if it doesn’t block traffic.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident here in Florida, it is important to contact a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Insurance companies often try to blame the bicyclist in any accident, claiming that they were not following traffic laws. Your attorney can help you fight for your rights and the rights of your family so that you get the money you deserve following a bike accident.

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