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Are cyclists allowed to ride on the sidewalk?

On Behalf of | Sep 22, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Cyclists typically ride near the shoulder of the road, on the side of the traffic lane, or in a dedicated bike lane. This is common in both rural and urban settings. 

However, some choose to ride on the sidewalk. There is no state law saying that this is illegal. The general rule, then, is that riding on sidewalks is permitted unless the local government has enacted a law saying otherwise. Many large cities have ordinances restricting this practice, for instance, to protect pedestrians and ensure that traffic moves more smoothly. 

It is wise?

Just because riding on the sidewalk is legal does not mean that it is a good idea. Studies have found that cycling on a sidewalk is more dangerous than riding on the road. Cyclists are often nearly invisible to drivers, who aren’t expecting them on the sidewalk, and so they tend to get hit at intersections, driveways, parking lots and other places where cars naturally cross the sidewalk. 

It’s safer to bike on the side of the traffic lane, where drivers expect you to be, even if it feels more dangerous with the cars so close. After all, accidents while turning are more common than accidents while overtaking a bike. 

Have you been injured?

If a driver makes a mistake and causes an accident while you’re legally riding your bicycle, they have violated your rights. They may have caused you extensive injuries. Costs could include medical bills and lost wages, among other expenses. It is important for you to know about all of the options you have to seek compensation for these costs. 

 

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