If you regularly ride your bicycle, you’re probably familiar with the notion that you should never ride on the sidewalk. The reasoning behind this idea is that when bicyclists ride on sidewalks, they are more likely to get into accidents or cause accidents. Some cities and counties in California have even made it illegal to bicycle on sidewalks.
However, if you look at most major streets, chances are that you will find a good number of bicyclists riding on the sidewalk. Not all of these cyclists may be negligent amateurs who will eventually injure themselves. However, it is important to realize the dangers behind biking on the sidewalk to understand why it should be avoided.
Reasons Why You Should Avoid Riding on the Sidewalk
According to safety advocates, riding bicycles on the sidewalk is dangerous and should be avoided for the following reasons:
Puts pedestrians at risk
Sidewalks, especially in bigger towns and on major streets, are often full of people walking, playing and eating. Pedestrians are generally oblivious to their surroundings. They don’t typically expect to share their sidewalks with bicycles. If a bicyclist crashes into a pedestrian even at a slower speed, it can still result in serious injuries to both parties.
Cars use sidewalks too
This may sound counterintuitive, but cars use sidewalks at parking lot entrances, driveways, and other such sidewalk areas. When motorists are on the sidewalk, they don’t generally keep a look out for bicyclists. They’re primary concern is not hitting other cars. Most drivers will not see a speeding bicyclist until it is too late.
The dangerous sidewalk intersection
Intersections of sidewalks are especially dangerous for bicyclists. When a bicyclist approaches an intersection on a sidewalk, it may be difficult for a motorist to spot them. Visibility is a big issue at these spots because parked cars, trees and other obstacles can easily obscure bicyclists.
Riding on the Sidewalk Safely
It is not encouraged for bicyclist to ride on sidewalks. However, if you want or need to ride your bicycle on the sidewalk, you should follow these rules to reduce the likelihood of getting into an accident:
- Ride slowly
- Yield to pedestrians because they have the right of way
- Be extra cautious when crossing intersections and driveways
- Only cross the street at crosswalks
- Walk your bicycle when necessary
Contact an Experienced Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyer
At the Law Offices of Samer Habbas, our Los Angeles bicycle accident attorneys are experienced in handling all types of accidents. If you were involved in a bicycle accident caused by another party and were seriously injured, you need aggressive legal representation. An experienced bike accident lawyer can help you get the full compensation you and your child deserve.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our Los Angeles bike accident attorneys, please call us at 888.848.5084.