If you’re considering riding your bike on the sidewalk, you’re probably doing so because you’re worried about being struck by a car. Maybe you feel like drivers never give you enough space when you share the road with them, but they don’t use the sidewalks, so that’s where you’ll be safe.
There are a few problems with this, starting with the fact that motor vehicles actually do use the sidewalk. Every time someone backs out of their driveway or pulls out of a parking lot, they’re driving over the sidewalk. You could be hit at any of these locations, and there is a great risk from drivers turning off of the street, as well.
Where are these drivers looking?
When someone does drive over the sidewalk, odds are they’re not really looking at it too closely. They’ll check to make sure no one is walking in front of the car, but then they shift their focus to the road beyond the sidewalk. A bike moves so quickly that you could be out of view and then enter their path after they’ve started watching traffic. Many accidents happen when drivers never see the bikes until they hit them.
Plus, riding on the sidewalk creates extra visual impairments. You pass behind trees and hedges. There could be fire hydrants, electrical boxes, mailboxes, and vehicles parked up and down the road — just to name a few. All of this makes it harder for drivers on the road to see you before they turn.
Riding on the road with your bike is safer than riding on the sidewalk, but you can still get injured. If you do, you then need to know how to seek financial compensation for your injuries and losses. A personal injury claim could be your best option.