Rules of the Road
It’s important to ride at least three feet from the curb or parked vehicles or debris in curb area and in a straight line. Don't swerve in and out around parked vehicles. Always ride in the same direction as traffic. Be predictable! Let other users know where you intend to go and maintain a predictable course.
Ride in the center of the lane.
Keep at least three feet between yourself and passing or parked traffic.
Diagram depicting riding in center of narrow lane
Ride just to the right of the actual traffic line, not alongside the curb.
Keep at least three feet between yourself and the curb or from parked vehicles. Motorists should be passing you with at least 3 feet of clearance.
Diagram depicting riding to the right of traffic with 3 feet on either side
Don't get the door surprise!
Ride in a straight line three feet out from parked cars. You'll avoid car doors that open in front of you and you'll be more visible to other drivers. Don't pull into the space between parked cars. Ride just to the right of the actual traffic line, not alongside the curb.
Safe Riding Tips:
- Wear a Properly Fitted Bicycle Helmet. Protect your brain, save your life. In Florida, a helmet must be worn by all bicyclists under 16 years old. A bicycle crash can happen at any time. A properly fitted bicycle helmet reduces the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent and the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent. More children age 5 to 14 go to hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with bicycles than with any other sport. Many of these injuries involve the head. Helmet laws ensure the safety of our children.
- Adjust Your Bicycle to Fit. Stand over your bicycle. There should be 1 to 2 inches between you and the top tube (bar) if using a road bike and 3 to 4 inches if a mountain bicycle. The seat should be level front to back. The seat height should be adjusted to allow a slight bend at the knee when the leg is fully extended. The handlebar height should be at the same level with the seat.
- Check Your Equipment. Before riding, inflate tires properly and check that your brakes work.
- See and Be Seen. Whether daytime, dawn, dusk, foul weather, or at night, you need to be seen by others. Wearing white has not been shown to make you more visible. Rather, always wear neon, fluorescent, or other bright colors when riding day or night. Also wear something that reflects light, such as reflective tape or markings, or flashing lights. Remember, just because you can see a driver doesn’t mean the driver can see you.
- Control Your Bicycle. Always ride with at least one hand on the handlebars. Carry books and other items in a bicycle carrier or backpack.
- Watch for and Avoid Road Hazards. Be on the lookout for hazards such as potholes, broken glass, gravel, puddles, leaves, and dogs. All these hazards can cause a crash. If you are riding with friends and you are in the lead, yell out and point to the hazard to alert the riders behind you.
- Avoid Riding at Night. It is far more dangerous to ride at night than during the day because you are harder for others to see. If you have to ride at night, wear something that makes you more easily seen by others. Make sure you have reflectors on the front and rear of your bicycle (white lights on the front and red rear reflectors are required by law in many States), in addition to reflectors on your tires, so others can see you. Many bicycle-related crashes resulting in injury or death are associated with the bicyclist’s behavior, including such things as not wearing a bicycle helmet, riding into a street without stopping, turning left or swerving into traffic that is coming from behind, running a stop sign, and riding the wrong way in traffic. To maximize your safety, always wear a helmet AND follow the rules of the road.