Collision with Bike on a Sidewalk
Adam asked: Is there a direction of travel I must take when bicycling on the pavement or walking path? I was recently struck by a vehicle coming out of a parking lot while riding on the sidewalk against the flow of traffic. He didn’t see me because he was not looking in my direction. I was heading South on the sidewalk, street traffic was north. I am being held responsible for the collision.
One of the common causes of incidents is the fact that motorists frequently do not expect traffic from the right and do not look in that direction before entering a roadway.
There is no requirement for a particular direction of travel on a sidewalk. The direction of the street traffic does not apply to the sidewalk. When on the sidewalk, a cyclist has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian.
s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations
(9) A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.
Drivers entering the roadway across a sidewalk must stop and yield to any pedestrians or bicyclists with the same rights and duties.
s. 316.125 – Vehicle Entering Highway from Private Road or Driveway or Emerging from Alley, Driveway or Building
(2) The driver of a vehicle emerging from an alley, building, private road or driveway within a business or residence district shall stop the vehicle immediately prior to driving onto a sidewalk or onto the sidewalk area extending across the alley, building entrance, road or driveway, or in the event there is no sidewalk area, shall stop at the point nearest the street to be entered where the driver has a view of approaching traffic thereon and shall yield to all vehicles and pedestrians which are so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.
You didn’t say whether there is a stop sign before the sidewalk facing the driveway. That is common. The area connecting the sidewalk across the driveway is a crosswalk, even if it is not marked as such.
s. 316.003 – Definitions
(a) That part of a roadway at an intersection included within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway, measured from the curbs or, in the absence of curbs, from the edges of the traversable roadway.
Motorists must stop before entering a crosswalk and remain stopped until clear.
s. 316.130 – Pedestrians; Traffic Regulations
(7)(a) The driver of a vehicle at an intersection that has a traffic control signal in place shall stop before entering the crosswalk and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian (or bicyclist with the rights and duties of a pedestrian) , with a permitted signal, to cross a roadway when the pedestrian is in the crosswalk or steps into the crosswalk and is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
(b) The driver of a vehicle at any crosswalk where signage so indicates shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross a roadway when the pedestrian is in the crosswalk or steps into the crosswalk and is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
(c) When traffic control signals are not in place or in operation and there is no signage indicating otherwise, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger. Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
That does not allow a pedestrian or bicyclist to dart in front of a moving vehicle and risk a collision.
(8) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.
The speed of the cyclist on the sidewalk may be a factor also. Due care is required by all. The sidewalk is part of the highway. Even with the same rights and duties as a pedestrian, the cyclist is still operating a vehicle and must comply with applicable statutes.
s. 316.183 – Unlawful Speed
(1) No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. In every event, speed shall be controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle, or other conveyance or object on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.