When many people start getting into cycling, they automatically gravitate toward riding on the sidewalk. This may be because riding on the road makes them nervous, or it may be because they learned how to ride on the sidewalk as a child and they just thought this was normal.
But some people will also say that riding on the sidewalk is more dangerous than riding on the road. Is this true?
The sidewalk increases serious accident risks
It is true that riding on the sidewalk is more dangerous. You may be further away from vehicles, but drivers don’t expect a bike to be on the sidewalk and they don’t expect a pedestrian to be moving so quickly. As a result, many drivers never bother to look at the sidewalk at all to see if the way is clear.
Additionally, riding on the sidewalk increases your odds of being hit by a vehicle that is turning. You may be riding over the end of a driveway, for instance, when someone turns into that driveway. It is far more likely that you’ll be injured this way than that you’ll be hit by a vehicle that comes up behind you. This is why riding on the road, moving along with traffic, is usually safer. It’s easier for drivers to see you, it’s where they expect you to be and it is less common for bikes to be hit by drivers who are overtaking them than by drivers who are turning.
Have you been injured?
Even if you ride perfectly, you could be seriously injured by a driver who makes a mistake, so make sure you know how to seek financial compensation.