Multi-use trails provide access to Denver’s amazing outdoors for walkers, joggers, skaters and bicyclists. But that can also bring a risk of injury, especially when it becomes congested or people engage in unsafe behaviors. Consider some important bike safety tips before you head out on a multi-use trail.
Show Courtesy to Others
Remember that everyone has the right to use the trail. One of the ways you can show courtesy is by warning others that you plan on passing. You can do this by calling out, “Passing on the left,” or ringing a bell. Make sure the person(s) heard your warning and then give enough time for safe passage. Be particularly careful around pets and children.
Use Appropriate Speeds
Multi-use trails aren’t designed for racing or high speeds. If you’re looking to hit higher speeds, using the bike lane on the road might be a better option. Maintain a safe pace and be sure to slow down when you encounter others on the path. Pay careful attention to curves and other parts of the trail that could make it difficult to see others up ahead. And always slow down when the trail becomes crowded.
Stay to the Right and Pass on the Left
Keep on the right side when biking. Pass on the left, when traffic is clear. Alerting others of your intentions is important. Also make sure there’s enough space before moving back over to the right.
Obey All Signs and Controls
Some trails have markings and traffic control signals or signs. Be sure to obey them. If a trail crosses the street, pay attention to your surroundings. And when crossing or entering a trail, yield to traffic.
Distractions don’t just affect motorists. Putting away the distractions is also an important bike safety tip. Bicyclists should avoid using a phone or anything else that takes attention off the trail. Also, avoid wearing headphones or earbuds. You could miss an important warning.
Don’t Bike Impaired
It’s dangerous to ride a bike while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Even some prescription and over-the-counter medications can affect judgment and the ability to react.
Use Lights When Riding at Night
Between dusk and dawn, make sure your bike has lights. You should have an amber or red light visible from front and rear, and a white light visible from the front. Although other users should also have lights, prepare for the possibility of running into someone who doesn’t.
What to Do If Injured in an Accident on a Multi-Use Trail
Unfortunately, no matter how many bike safety tips the cyclist acknowledges, there is the chance that a bicyclist could sustain injuries while on a trail. If this happens and it was a result of someone else’s reckless or careless actions, you may have the right to pursue legal action to pay for your damages. Of course, you must have proof of negligence to do so and must demonstrate the injuries and damages you suffered.
Seek consultation with the Law Office of D.J. Banovitz if you’re in the Denver area. Call us at 303-300-5060 to set up a consultation with an attorney about your case.