We have mentioned the abundance of cyclists in Central Florida, and with spring heating up, the number of people biking along trails and roads is sure to rise with the temperature. Though many make assumptions, it’s important for motorists and cyclists alike to understand what is right and what is wrong when it comes to the right of way laws.
In Florida, cyclist right of way rules are not difficult to grasp. As a cyclist, you are expected to follow the same rules of the road as motorists. This includes signaling turns, traveling on the correct side of the road, stopping at stop signs, and yielding to pedestrians. However, this also means that cyclists do not automatically get the right of way. This may be a shocker to some, who assume that cyclists are seen more as pedestrians than motorists. The bottom line: if you’re on the road and on a bicycle, you have to respect the rules of the road like anyone else.
Likewise, motorists need to pay attention when approaching someone on a bicycle or motorcycle. These cyclists and motorcyclists are much smaller objects and may be difficult to see when checking your mirrors. It is also important to remember that drivers in the State of Florida are required to pass bicyclists with at least 3 feet of clearance or they can be cited. Wieland, Hilado and DeLattre recently settled a case for a client of ours that was traveling on his bicycle. A tractor trailer passed our client and, a short distance later, the driver of the semi attempted a right turn but forgot about the fact that he had recently passed our client on the bicycle. The semi driver did not allow himself enough time and distance to successfully make the right turn and, in the process, violated our cyclist’s right of way. Significant injuries were caused to our client that resulted in a seven figure policy limits settlement against the trucking company and their insurance carrier.
Earlier this year, Wieland, Hilado & DeLattre resolved another case for our client who was seriously injured when his bicycle collided with a road construction vehicle. After years of hard fought litigation, another significant seven figure settlement was reached. A successful result occurred for our clients in each of these cases not only because of the thorough investigations conducted or the hard fought litigation battles, but also because the attorneys at Wieland, Hilado & DeLattre have extensive knowledge on the rules of the road for bicyclists and the responsibilities motorists have toward bicyclists.
If you, a loved one, or a friend have any questions about motor vehicle or cycling accidents, please do not hesitate to contact us to speak with an attorney at 407-841-7699. For additional resources, keep checking our blog, LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more helpful hints and to always be informed about best practices in law.