Florida bicycle 3 foot rule while on the road

A car collides into cyclists participating in a race in Mexico's northern border city of Matamoros, Sunday June 1, 2008. At least one person was killed and 14 injured when a driver slammed into a bicycle race. (AP Photo/Jose Fidelino Vera Hernandez)

In Florida, most cyclists or anyone who has spent time riding a bicycle on the streets is familiar with the “3 foot rule.” For those unfamiliar, it is Florida Statute 316.083. Which stands for the premise that when a driver of a vehicle overtakes a bicycle or other non-motorized vehicle. The driver must leave at least 3 feet of room between the vehicle and the bicycle.  Unforunately, many cyclists are viewed as a nuisance to motorists.

Many others believe believe bicycle riders do not belong on the road at all.  Many accidents occur when motorists leave less than 3 feet of space when passing cyclists.  Even the most experienced and capable riders are unable to maintain a straight line while riding due to wind, changes in road conditions or material, or the width of the bicycle’s tires.  The inherent “wobble” that occurs when riding a bike is the reason that the “3 foot rule” was created to protect cyclists.  When passing a cyclist, motorists should always maintain at least 3 feet of space.  If a motorists fails to do so, and the bicycle rider “wobbles” in the wrong direction at the wrong moment, the results can be catastrophic.

If you have been injured in a bicycle accident and want to know your rights, contact the experienced attorneys at Donaldson and Weston, PA.  We have offices in Stuart and West Palm Beach and service, Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Broward counties.