Is It Safer to Ride Your Bicycle on the Street or Sidewalk in Miami?

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Cycling is a popular outdoor activity in Miami and one of the best ways to discover the Magic City’s best sights, from South Beach to Coconut Grove. However, the Miami area can also be dangerous for cyclists. In 2023, there were 8,394 bicycle accidents and 224 fatalities in Florida. There were 969 bicycle crashes and 21 cyclist deaths recorded in Miami-Dade County alone.

As a cyclist in Miami, you can ride on the street or sidewalk in many areas, but which offers the safest path? Learn what Florida law says about where you can ride and the right-of-way rules for cycling in Miami.

Where Can You Ride Your Bike in Florida?

Bicycles in Florida are generally permitted to ride on either the road or the sidewalk. However, the rules vary depending on where you choose to ride:

Where to Ride Florida Statute Summary
The Road Statute 316.2065(1)
  • Bicyclists have the same rights and duties as other vehicle drivers
  • Entitled to occupy a lane without blocking traffic
  • Must follow all road signs and traffic laws
Bicycle Lanes Statute 316.2065(5)(a)
  • Use the bicycle lane when available
  • If no bicycle lane, stay as close to the right-hand edge of the road as possible, except when avoiding hazards, passing another vehicle, or preparing for a left turn
Sidewalks Statutes 316.2065(9) & (10)
  • Legally considered a pedestrian when on the sidewalk
  • Must yield the right-of-way to foot pedestrians, including at crosswalks


No matter where you ride in Miami, Section 8-3 of the city’s Code of Ordinances says your bicycle must be equipped with a bell or a warning device audible for at least 100 feet. If you are riding your bike within city limits, ensure your bell is properly working.

Bicycle Right-of-Way Rules

When riding your bicycle on the street or a bike lane, knowing when you have the right of way can help you avoid dangerous situations. Here’s a brief overview of the right-of-way rules that may apply to you when riding:

  • On the Bike Lane: Bicycles on the bike lane have the right of way over any other vehicle or pedestrian crossing the bike lane.
  • At Crosswalks: When reaching a marked crosswalk or a zebra crossing, you must yield the right of way to pedestrians, like any other vehicle.
  • Minimum Safe Distance: Florida statutes do not specify a minimum safe distance to keep when driving behind a bicycle. However, when you ride on the road, motorists must apply general safe driving practices and treat your bicycle as any other vehicle.
  • Minimum Clearance: According to the FLHSMV, vehicle operators must give you at least three feet of clearance when passing you.
  • Turning Left or Right: Florida Statute 316.155 requires all road users, including bicycles, to warn others before turning. Subsection (2) recommends using an arm signal for vehicles without turn signal devices such as bicycles. An example of this would be raising your right arm horizontally when turning right.

Safety Tips for Riding Near Pedestrians and Cars

When cycling in Miami, make safety your priority, whether on the road, sidewalk or any other pathway. Keep the following tips in mind for an enjoyable, accident-free ride:

  • Stay Visible: Ensure you’re easily seen by motorists and pedestrians, especially at night. Use reflective clothing to boost your visibility, and equip your bike with headlamps and taillamps.
  • Wear Protective Gear: Always wear a helmet and consider additional protective gear like gloves and elbow pads for added safety. This can help prevent injuries in a collision with a pedestrian or vehicle. If you have a passenger under 16 on your bicycle, they must wear a helmet. This includes small children towed in a small trailer attached to a bicycle.
  • Understand Traffic Rules: Familiarize yourself with local traffic laws applicable to cyclists. This includes signaling turns and obeying traffic signs.
  • Stay Alert: Be aware of your surroundings, including other vehicles, pedestrians, and potential road hazards. Avoid using your phone or other distracting behaviors while in motion; this can increase your risk of a collision with a car or person.
  • Bicycle Maintenance: Perform regular bike maintenance to keep it in good condition. Check the brakes, tires, and lights to ensure all components function correctly before heading out.

Stay Safe on the Roads with Aigen Injury Law

Bicycle riders have the right to enjoy the sights Miami has to offer as safely as possible. If a negligent driver hits you while you’re out cycling in the Magic City, the Miami bicycle injury lawyers at Aigen Injury Law can help.

Our legal team has extensive experience representing cycling enthusiasts in South Florida and can help you get the compensation you deserve after a collision. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.