Riding bicycles is a popular pastime in Florida. Nearly 67 million Americans ride bikes, and about a third of U.S. households have one or more bicycles. Each year, more than 800 people die from injuries caused by bicycle accidents, including about 250 age 14 and under. In addition, 600,000 people seek emergency room treatment for injuries related to bicycle accidents. Head injuries account for about 62 percent of bicycle-related deaths and serious disabilities.
All riders age 16 and under are required by law (Florida Statute 316.2065 [3d]) to wear a bike helmet while riding. Studies have shown that properly fitted helmets reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent and the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent.
Bicycle Safety Tips
- Always ride on the right hand side of the road in the same direction as traffic.
- Obey all traffic signs and lights.
- Use a bike path or bike lane if one is available.
- Always wear a bicycle helmet.
- Wear light colored clothing and reflective strips when riding at night.
- Even if you have a green light at an intersection, make sure that oncoming drivers see you before crossing the street. Look left, look right and then look left again before crossing an intersection.
- Use arm signals to let others know if you plan to turn.
- If you ride with others, ride single file, not side by side.
- If you're driving, share the road by giving bicycle riders enough space to ride safe.