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The Right-of-Way: Cyclists or Pedestrians?


A travel lane split for pedestrians and cyclists.

Motor vehicles are not the only threats to the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians. Cyclists and pedestrians can each pose a danger to the other. Pedestrian accidents involving cyclists can result in painful injuries for pedestrians and bicyclists alike. Fortunately, right-of-way laws serve to help prevent these accidents in Florida.

Right-of-way laws are useful in controlling the safe flow of wheeled traffic at intersections and other busy junctions. The usefulness of these laws does not disappear simply because the individuals involved are not motorized or have four wheels.

However, unlike the right-of-way laws applicable to car and truck drivers, those that bicyclists and pedestrians must follow when encountering one another are often not as well known.

General Florida Right-of-Way Laws

Right-of-way laws dictate who is able to proceed along their way and when on the road. These rules extend to pedestrians and cyclists, as well as motor vehicles. It is important to note that such rules apply only on public roads and paths, not to activities that take place solely on private property.

Moreover, these right-of-way rules only come into play when two or more applicable individuals meet one another and cannot proceed along their separate ways simultaneously.

When and where they do apply, right-of-way laws tell all involved parties who can proceed along their way and who must wait for the path ahead to be clear. The person who is able to continue their travel is said to have the right-of-way, while all others who must wait before proceeding are described as yielding the right-of-way.

Bicyclists’ Unique Responsibilities on the Road

When it comes to whether bicyclists have the right-of-way over pedestrians, it must first be acknowledged that bicyclists and pedestrians are not subject to the same responsibilities under Florida law.

While there are laws that apply to pedestrians, these laws are unique to pedestrians. Generally, there is no situation where a law that applies to a pedestrian will apply to any wheeled vehicle driver.

This is not the case with bicyclists. For bike riders, Florida Statutes Section 316.2065 says that when bicyclists are using the roadways, they must follow the same rules and laws as drivers of motor vehicles. This includes following the state’s right-of-way laws as they would apply to a motor vehicle in the same situation.

When Pedestrians Have the Right-of-Way Over Cyclists

The classic assumption, “Pedestrians always have the right-of-way,” is not legally true. Pedestrians who believe and act upon this incorrect advice raise the risk of pedestrian accidents. Instead, there are two main situations in which a pedestrian has the right-of-way over other traffic on the road:

Pedestrians in a Controlled Crosswalk

A pedestrian using a crosswalk to get from one side of the road to the other has the right-of-way over all other traffic while in the crosswalk if they follow a control device’s directions. This means that bicyclists using the road must stop and wait until a pedestrian clears the crosswalk before they can proceed.

Pedestrians in an Uncontrolled Crosswalk

If there is no marked crosswalk or an electronic signal does not control the crosswalk, pedestrians still have the right-of-way while they are at the road crossing. Since bicyclists are subject to the same laws and rules as other motorists, they must stop and wait for pedestrians crossing the street to finish before continuing.

These rules apply whether the bicyclist is using a designated bike lane or whether no bike lane is present.

When a Cyclist Encounters a Pedestrian on a Sidewalk

Right-of-way laws apply not only to roadways; they also encompass pathways and sidewalks.

Pedestrians and bicyclists sometimes encounter one another on sidewalks since both are authorized to use them. In this situation, pedestrians always have the right-of-way on a sidewalk, and bicyclists must always yield to a pedestrian using the same sidewalk.

Turn to a Skilled Pedestrian Accidents Lawyer Today

Determining right-of-way is also a key part of claims for pedestrian accidents. If you or a loved one has suffered harm in pedestrian accidents involving bicyclists, some of the same analysis that goes into understanding auto wrecks will apply to these pedestrian accidents as well.

The dedicated team at Schrier Law Group can help you hold negligent individuals accountable for your injuries, no matter what vehicle they were riding. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to determine your legal rights and whether you might be entitled to compensation.

Read Our Reviews

Schrier Law Group is rated 5 out of 5.0 stars based on 22 review(s).


My name is David and I’ve been represented by mr. Schrier law firm twice in my life and I got nothing more then good things to say about them they are very professional and they really Take their clients I really recommend them every time I called them they were always there for me especially the attorney he’s very professional and he got me the money did I deserve by representing me and fighting for me I will use their services again them no questions asked if I ever need them to me they are the best God bless them all

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West Jean


I must say that Mr. Schrier was there when we needed immediate advice after my wife got rear-ended by an unlicensed speeding lunatic. We called a handful of attorneys in our area, but after waiting 2- 5 days they would drop her case. We found Mr Schrier online and he explained the pros/cons and he took the case. We waited patiently, and in time he was able to tracked down the actual owners of the car and get their auto insurance info!

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The firm pays close attention to locating every possible insurer liable for my injuries. They return my calls in 24-48 hours. Friendly staff who care.

Mr K


Attention to detail with the different insurance coverages. Returned my phone calls, which is very important.

David Kuczenski


I was involved in an auto accident in January 2016. We decided to contact Paul K. Schrier, PLLC for legal advice. He never got annoyed with me calling to ask questions, which was quite often. We have finally reached the final stages of this case, which they handled very well, and have come to a settlement. I highly recommend the Florida personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Paul K. Schrier, PLLC, especially Paul K. Schrier to any one who needs a personal injury attorney. Thank you very much Paul for everything you have done do me.

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I called to ask some question about a car accident I was in. I spoke to Paul who was very helpful, honest and professional. It seems that he really care about clients. I appreciate all that Paul did and would certainly recommend to anyone who needs an attorney.

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Both my wife and I feel grateful for the treatment and the professionalism of the staff. Maritza is great doing her job. It is the second time that I request your services and we are pleased and grateful. Many blessings to this Law Firm

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Thank you so much for going above and beyond what I had ever anticipated. It was truly a pleasure to work with you all, especially Chatrice. I will most definitely refer The Schrier Law Group to my family and friends.

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The Schrier LG is an excellent firm! They accepted my case, provided me with all the procedural information, maintained a high level of professionalism while showing kindness and care. The doctor's office that they suggested is another group of kind and considerate individuals, dedicated to my full recovery. I would recommend the Schrier Group to friends, just as they were recommended to me. I am happy with my settlement and very pleased with the attention and diligence of the group as a whole. Thank you again!

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Not only did I get a phenomenal attorney to represent me in my case, but I also got a step by step education on how the legal process actually worked. I was encouraged to ask questions and be an informed client. I was never treated like a case. I truly felt like the advice and recommendations he gave to me would have been the same he would have pursued if he were the client. That was important to me. I needed to work with an attorney I could trust with my best interest in mind...and that is what I got with Paul Schrier.

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Chatrice Telfort


Great job! I loved working with Paul.