An 80-year old Garden Grove man died yesterday after being hit by a car while riding on the sidewalk.
According to KCBS Channel 2, the man was hit when a Ford F-250 pickup made a right turn from a the driveway of a business near the intersection of Brookhurst Street near Jennrich Avenue in Garden Grove. The victim’s name has been withheld pending notification of next-of-kin; my condolences to his family and loved ones.
The Orange County Register reports that the 36-year old driver remained at the scene, telling police that he looked for traffic before pulling out of the parking lot, but didn’t see the cyclist; no arrest has been made, and alcohol or drugs is not believed to have been a factor.
This tragedy is a reminder that, contrary to common perceptions, it’s actually a lot more dangerous to ride on the sidewalk than in the street.
Drivers exiting driveways and parking lots are focused on traffic as they try to enter the street, and may not see anyone approaching on the sidewalk — even though they should. And visibility for drivers is greatly reduced, as nearby buildings can hide riders from view until the last second.
In fact, one prominent study found a nearly 25% greater risk factor for cyclists riding on the sidewalk as opposed to riding a typical street. In other words, while you might be frightened by those cars buzzing by, you’re a lot safer in the street where drivers can see you then relying on the false security of the sidewalk.
And just how sad is it that in this age of rampant hit-and-run, it’s necessary for a reporter to mention that the driver didn’t run away?
Be careful out there.