Mark Roman | November 27, 2022 | Florida Law
Many drivers and bicyclists in Florida are unfamiliar with the slow speed impediment statute. Those familiar with the statute might assume that it applies to cyclists and motorists. That is not the case.
The slow speed impediment statute does not apply to cyclists in Florida. However, other laws do apply to cyclists when they are traveling less than the normal speed of traffic.
What Is the Slow Speed Impediment Statute?
Section 316.183 of the Florida State Uniform Traffic Control states that a person cannot operate a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to block or impede the reasonable and normal movement of traffic. The exception is when a slower speed is necessary to comply with the law or for the safe operation of the motor vehicle.
Because bicycles must follow almost all traffic laws, one might assume that the slow speed impediment law applies to cyclists. The statute does not apply to cyclists because bicycles are not included in the definition of a motor vehicle for this statute. However, an impeding traffic statute applies to cyclists riding two abreast.
Section 316.2065 of the State Uniform Traffic Control contains bicycle regulations, including traffic laws regarding cyclists traveling two abreast. That statute states that cyclists may not ride on a roadway or bicycle lane more than two abreast except on a bicycle path.
Furthermore, two bicyclists cannot impede traffic when riding side-by-side, traveling at less than the normal speed of traffic. Instead, they must ride in a single lane unless riding in a bicycle lane that allows them to ride two abreast and remain within the bicycle lane.
It should be noted that the bicycle regulations require a cyclist to ride in a bicycle lane or as close to the right hand curb when traveling at speeds less than the speed of normal traffic except in the following situations:
- When passing or overtaking another vehicle or bicycle traveling in the same direction.
- When preparing to turn left into a private driveway or road or at an intersection.
- When reasonably necessary to avoid potential conflict or condition that makes it unsafe to continue riding along the right-hand edge or curb or within the bicycle lane.
Bicycles are expected to know and follow Florida traffic laws. A bicyclist that violates traffic laws is subject to the same penalties as a motorist. Furthermore, violating traffic laws could have a negative impact on a personal injury case for a bicycle accident.
Bicycle Accidents Often Involve Speeding Vehicles
A common cause of bicycle accidents is speeding drivers. Drivers exceeding safe speed limits have more difficulty stopping their vehicles to avoid colliding with a bicyclist. This situation is especially dangerous when drivers speed toward an intersection and a cyclist has the right of way or is stopped waiting for a light to change.
Another common cause of bicycle accidents is distracted driving. Even though a rider is in the bicycle lane, a distracted driver might swerve into the bicycle lane, crashing into the bicycle. Driving under the influence is another common reason drivers swerve into a bicycle lane.
Sadly, bicycle accidents cause catastrophic injuries to the rider. A cyclist has no protection from a collision with a motor vehicle. The rider’s body takes the full impact of the collision.
Common injuries caused by bicycle accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Damage to internal organs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Loss of limbs and amputations
- Significant scarring and disfigurement
A bicyclist hit by a motor vehicle might sustain permanent impairments and disabilities. The rider’s life is changed forever in an instant.
Filing a Claim Against an At-Fault Driver for a Bicycle Accident
Unfortunately, no-fault insurance might not cover all damages caused by a bicycle accident. The $10,000 coverage for PIP insurance is insufficient to pay medical bills and lost wages from catastrophic injuries.
However, if you sustained serious injuries because of a bicycle accident, you could pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. You could be entitled to compensation for your economic damages, including all medical bills, loss of income, and other financial losses.
Additionally, a claim against the at-fault driver could provide compensation for your non-economic damages, including pain and suffering. You could also receive compensation for diminished quality of life and a decrease in future earning capacity.
A bicycle accident lawyer can provide additional information about your rights regarding personal injury claims and bicycle accidents. In addition, a lawyer can explore all sources of compensation to maximize the settlement amount you receive for a bicycle accident claim.
Contact the New Port Richey Bicycle Accident Law Firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact the legal team of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a bicycle accident lawyer in New Port Richey. We have five convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
2360 Congress Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33763
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
6601 Memorial Hwy Suite 202
Tampa, FL 33615
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
2515 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL, 34655