As most of my readers know I am an attorney that specializes in representing victims of bicycle accidents. Accordingly all day long I receive calls from cyclists involved in a bicycle accident. Although this may not be an official statistic, I can tell you that the most common accident scenario is when the cyclist was riding on a sidewalk against the flow of traffic. This is probably surprising to many, since it seems intuitively a sidewalk would be the safest place to ride. However, on a sidewalk you are not only not protected from motor vehicles, you are hidden from them at the most critical part of your ride: the crosswalk!
Almost invariably, the biker is riding against the flow of traffic on the sidewalk and has an accident at the crosswalk. I have written about this subject many times before, but given the amount of calls we receive from this scenario it bears repeating. You should never ride your bike against the flow of traffic on the sidewalk. The reason for this is that it violates one of the core principles of bicycle safety: being predictable. When you ride on a crosswalk or pass a driveway, the motor vehicle driver will not intuitively look in your direction. Even if you think you have established eye contact, you may not have been noticed. The simple solution to this problem is to only ride on a sidewalk with the flow of traffic. If that is not possible, then always get off your bike and carefully walk across the crosswalk.
Ride. Be Safe. Have Fun.
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