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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guy in a small PU was making a left turn across three lanes of traffic. The intersection is of a primary route and two opposite entrances to private property. It is controlled by a light. The driver of the small PU waited until traffic opened and made his turn. He was "T" boned by a male cyclists who was riding on the sidewalk. I don't think that there was much damage involved on either part. Saw the bicycle hit the truck at the passenger door and the front wheel get yanked to the right. The bicyclists was knocked off his bike and hit his hip on the side of the truck. He never lost his footing.

Just so I know, who was at fault?
 

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It is not illegal to ride on the sidewalk in Maryland, Virginia or DC outside of the central business district. Is it really against the law in most other jurisdictions? Assuming it's legal, I think the driver is responsible to avoid not only the traffic in the road, but also sidewalk traffic, be it bicycle or baby carriage. I assume a pedestrian would have right-of-way in this situation. Not sure about bicycle, but I'd guess so.
 

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It might not be against state laws, but a large number of municipalities have ordinances against it. It is a good example of why a bike better be extra careful on a side walk. Cars don't expect them there.
 

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Assuming anyone can't make a mistake is to make assume into 3 words and you are betting your hind end on it. Should they look? Yes but they are not expecting anything of any speed on the sidewalk. Expecting someone to actually be walking on a sidewalk designed to walk is not so far fetched. Looking a few feet either side would clear someone walking, but a bike doing 20 would need a much bigger area cleared. They rightly expect someone going that fast to be in the road would be normal.

A cyclist that is going to ride on the sidewalk should expect that its likely that a car could cross their path at any driveway, cross walk or any other area where a vehicle is allowed to cross. It is just as much the cyclist responsibility to clear the area as it is the motorist.

Like most accidents, this incident does not sound like it was caused by a single event. It usually is a chain of things that work together to cause a crash regardless of the type of transportation. Thankfully this one ended with fairly minor injuries and a few lessons.
 

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A lot of times, bike riding on the sidewalk is governed by local ordinance, but I think riding on the sidewalk endangers the rider and pedestrians . Our downtown has signs that say "Walk on the sidewalk, Ride in the street."
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the replies. Gave me a moments pause. I've rode my bike under similar circumstances and but for the grace of God that might have been me. Another something to think about while riding.
 

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I'm also leaning towards placing the blame mostly on the cyclist. Adding a little math to the events, assuming an acceleration of the truck of 0.2 g's from an initial velocity of 0, and assuming approximately 40 feet for 3 lanes and a sidewalk, it would take the truck at least 3.5 seconds to get from his starting point to the point of impact (POI in accident reconstruction terms). If the cyclist was traveling at 15 mph, he would be nearly 80 feet down the sidewalk when the driver began his turn. I think at that distance, it's asking a lot for the driver to be expecting something on the sidewalk may be moving fast enough to impact him. In addition, there could be numerous obstructions hiding the cyclist from the view of the driver when he is that far away. Also, it seems like at that distance, the cyclist should have been attentive enough to realize the truck was pulling across with still enough time to stop. Again, as others have said, had the cyclist been in the oncoming lanes traveling with traffic, I would solely blame the driver.
 

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Assuming anyone can't make a mistake..
You seem to agree with me that the driver made a mistake (was at fault).

The suggestion that the bike might have been going 15-20mph is far fetched. It is difficult to maintain such speeds on the road. Nobody rides that fast on a sidewalk. There is no reason to believe riding on this particular sidewalk is against the law. Bicycling is allowed on MOST sidewalks.

It is a driver's responsibility to avoid hitting people on the sidewalk. If it is beyond his ability to do so, he should not be driving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
PU Drive didn't hit anyone on the sidewalk. After turning out of the northbound lanes across three lanes of traffic and then being about halfway across the sidewalk he was struck on the passenger side of his vehicle by a bike. The bike was traveling southbound in the sidewalk adjacent to the southbound lanes. Who failed to yield to whom? I was sitting at the light opposite to the accident and heard the bike lock up his brakes. Looked up at the moment of contact. The PU was going slow enough that he stopped as the bicyclist's hip hit the side of his truck.
 

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I've gone into the side of a left turning vehicle. I ran into the automobile, but I was not at fault. The driver was charged and her insurance company paid for my doctor and lawyer and for my pain and suffering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I've gone into the side of a left turning vehicle. I ran into the automobile, but I was not at fault. The driver was charged and her insurance company paid for my doctor and lawyer and for my pain and suffering.
Were you in the roadway or on a sidewalk?
 

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I was in the roadway. If I was on the sidewalk, I would have been going slow enough to stop in time. I tried to stop, but could not avoid collision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
This bicyclists was on the sidewalk and I heard him lock his brakes up prior the the hit. Looked up just as he hit. Can't tell how fast he was going. Does the bicyclists being on the sidewalk change the liability in any way?
 

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Yeah, probably. I'm no lawyer. It's true that the biker should have taken more care. Drivers have a hard time seeing bicycles on the road. When you're riding on the sidewalk you should assume you're invisible.
 
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