7 Florida Traffic Laws Drivers Commonly Ignore

Florida drivers can forget about important traffic laws, such as tailgating rules and keeping to the left.

The rules of the road are the law for a fundamental reason: safety. Every time a Floridian gets behind the wheel of a car, they are responsible for abiding by the rules.

The following are some of the traffic laws most often ignored in Florida. Continue reading to find out what to do and not do when you are on the road.

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1. Florida Slower Traffic Keep Right Law: The “Move Over” Rule

In Florida, you must keep to the right when you are driving slowly. Under the state’s traffic code, a driver in the far-left lane must move over if they are being overtaken by a vehicle behind them.

A driver may not continue to operate a motor vehicle in the furthermost left-hand lane if the driver knows that he or she is being overtaken in that lane from the rear by a motor vehicle traveling at a higher rate of speed. This does not apply to drivers operating a vehicle that is overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, or is preparing for a left turn at an intersection.

Fla. Stat. § 316.081

2. Florida Flow of Traffic Law: The “Minimum Speed” Rule

Just as it is illegal to drive faster than the speed limit, it is also a crime to go too slow on Florida roads. While there is no statewide minimum speed, you cannot move so slowly that you are causing slowdowns.

An exception exists for when you need to drive slowly to operate your vehicle safely or follow the law. So, you won’t get a ticket for driving the speed limit when your fellow drivers are all speeding.

No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.

Fla. Stat. § 316.183

3. Florida Driving in Left Lane Law: The “Passing on the Left” Rule

On Florida streets, the law requires you to pass on the left at a safe distance. You must signal that you intend to pass and cannot cut off the driver when you merge back into your original lane. When being passed, you must yield the right of way to the other car. You also can’t speed up while being passed on the left.

You cannot pass on a two-lane road until the right side is clear of oncoming traffic., You also cannot come within 200 feet of an approaching car. Any attempt to pass that brings you within 200 feet of traffic in the other direction is illegal.

The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction must give an appropriate signal, must pass to the left thereof at a safe distance, and must not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.

Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle must give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle, on audible signal or upon the visible blinking of the headlamps of the overtaking vehicle if such overtaking is being attempted at nighttime, and must not increase the speed of his or her vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

Fla. Stat. § 316.083

No vehicle shall be driven to the left side of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing another vehicle unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completely made without interfering with the operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction.

In every event the overtaking vehicle must return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as practicable and, in the event the passing movement involves the use of a lane authorized for vehicles approaching from the opposite direction, before coming within 200 feet of any approaching vehicle.

Fla. Stat. § 316.085

4. Florida Rear-End Collision Law: The “Following Too Closely” Rule

Florida law does not set a minimum distance you have to leave between the car in front of you. Instead, illegal tailgating occurs anytime you do not leave a “reasonable and prudent” space.

What constitutes a reasonable distance depends on how fast each car is going, as well as road and weather conditions. So, what is acceptable on a bright, sunny day might be too close during a downpour.

The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon, and the condition of, the highway.

Fla. Stat. § 316.0895

5. Florida Mobile Phone Driving Law: The “Hands-Free Driving” Rule

Distracted drivers can lead to deadly auto accidents. That’s why Florida bans all texting, emailing, or reading your phone while driving.

You can talk on a phone while driving in Florida, as long as you are not required to type or read your cell phone. Additionally, you can use your phone however you want if you stop your car.

A person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data on such a device for the purpose of nonvoice interpersonal communication. A motor vehicle that is stationary is not being operated and is not subject to the prohibition.

Fla. Stat. § 316.305

6. Florida Four-Way Intersection Law: The “4-Way Stop” Rule

Under Florida traffic laws, when two vehicles reach an intersection at the same time, the driver to the right has the right-of-way. The driver on the left must allow the right vehicle to proceed first.

When two vehicles enter an intersection from different highways at the same time the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.

Fla. Stat. § 316.121

7. Florida Left Turn Intersection Law: The “Right of Way” Rule

Florida’s traffic code requires you to yield the right-of-way to cars going the opposite way when making a left turn. If an oncoming vehicle is close enough to pose a threat, you must wait to turn left.

The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction, or vehicles lawfully passing on the left of the turning vehicle, which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.

Fla. Stat. §  316.122

Following Florida’s traffic laws will not only keep you from getting a ticket but also help you avoid accidents. Driving cautiously and legally can go a long way towards making every time you drive a safe experience. So make sure you keep these seven traffic laws in mind the next time you hit the road.

Amy Grover is a licensed attorney in the state of Ohio. After graduating magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, then passing the bar exam in 2014, Amy began her diverse career as a practicing attorney. Amy has a range of experience in the legal field, including work with the Department... Read More >>