Safe Bike Riding in Orlando
Written by Shawn Diederich on January 9, 2017
Many Orlando residents find bicycling a low-cost, healthy, and environmentally friendly alternative to traveling by car. But bicycling is not without risk. Bicycle accidents remain a major problem in Florida and throughout the country. The Washington Post, citing a 2007 academic study, noted that a person was “more than twice as likely to die while riding a bike than riding in a car.”
Basic Bike Safety Rules
The best thing you can do to avoid a potentially fatal bike accident is to understand and follow basic safety rules:
- Always wear a bicycle helmet fastened securely to your head. Florida law requires helmets for anyone under 16, but it is a good practice for bicyclists of any age.
- Make sure your bicycle has appropriate head and tail lights and wear reflective clothing to maximize your visibility while on the road.
- Always keep your head up and eyes forward; do not look at the ground while bicycling.
- Do not ride against traffic; always stay on the right side of the road.
- Bicycles are considered “vehicles” under Florida law and bicyclists must obey the same traffic safety rules as the driver of a car, truck, or motorcycle.
Additional Rules for Riding in Orlando
Orlando is a popular bicycling area because of its sunny climate. But Florida has long been considered the most dangerous state in the nation for bicyclists and pedestrians alike. Here are few more things to keep in mind when riding in the City of Orlando:
- During hot, humid summer conditions it is important to stay hydrated and alert; make sure you have a water bottle and even a snack so that you do not lose focus while riding.
- Orlando was designed for cars, not bicycles. Bicyclists need to take special care on busy commercial arteries like Semoran Boulevard, which has experienced more than two dozen crashes (including six fatalities) over a seven-year period.
- If available, use a bicycle lane. For instance, the City of Orlando has installed a special “green” on Rosalind/Magnolia Avenue from Colonial Drive to South Street. The lane is painted a bright, fluorescent green to increase its visibility.
- Even if there is no bike lane, stay on the road. Riding on sidewalks is dangerous. Additionally, it is banned in downtown Orlando.
Have You Been Hurt in an Orlando Bicycle Accident?
Practicing good bicycle safety habits can help you avoid a potentially serious accident. Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are, you cannot control the reckless acts of others. If you are injured in a bicycle accident due to someone else’s negligence and need to speak with a qualified Orlando bicycle accident attorney, contact the Diederich Law Firm, P.A., right away.