Bicycling Safety Tips
On-Street Biking - Share the Road
- Make eye contact. Confirm you are seen. Establish eye contact with motorists to ensure that they know you are on the road. Look over your shoulder regularly or use a mirror to scan the road behind.
- Be careful at Intersections. Most accidents happen at intersections. Proceed with care. Avoid being in a turn-only lane if you want to go straight through an intersection. In narrow lanes or slow traffic, it may be safer to take the whole lane.
- Use Hand Signals. Signal all turns and stops ahead of time. Look over your shoulder for any traffic, then make your intended move only when it is safe to do so.
- Keep both hands ready to brake. You may not stop in time if you brake one-handed. Allow extra distance for stopping in the rail, since brakes are less efficient when wet.
- Keep your bike in good repair. Maintain your bike in good working condition. Check brakes regularly and keep tires properly inflated.
- Turning Left - 2 Options.
1. AS A VEHICLE: Signal your intentions in advance. Move to the left turning
lane and complete the turn when it is safe.
2. AS A PEDESTRIAN: Ride to the far crosswalk & walk.
- Beware of car doors. Be wary of parked cars. Motorists can unexpectedly open doors. Be particularly careful if you see a motorist in the car. Ride in a straight line at least three feet away from parked cars.
- Lock your bike. Lock the frame and rear wheel of your bike to a fixed object. If you have a quick release, lock the front wheel also. Do not lock your bike to trees.
- Avoid road hazards. Watch out for parallel-slat sewer grates, slippery manhole covers, city pavement, potholes and construction plates. Cross railroad tracks carefully.
- Wear a helmet and dress appropriately. Wear a helmet to protect the most vulnerable part of the body. Wear brightly colored clothing so that motorists can easily see you. A cyclist or passenger under age 16 must wear a helmet per Florida statutes.
- Use lights at night. The law requires a white headlight, visible from at least 500 feet ahead, and a red rear reflector and tail light, visible from 600 feet behind.
- Always ride with traffic. It is illegal in Florida to ride against traffic. Motorists do not look for bicyclists riding on the wrong side of the road.