Bicycling Safety: Using Multi-Use Paths

Bicycling is a great activity, promoting the health of all ages—from kindergartners to senior citizens. Taking off on two wheels allows you to get out into the fresh Florida air, enjoying landscapes of lush foliage highlighted by that famous sunshine and accompanying warm weather. This low-impact exercise is excellent for strengthening muscles, as well as cardiovascular and lung health. The ‘fuel’ is free and provided by you at will—offering an incredibly environmentally friendly way to get around town too. Sometimes it can be difficult to find an enjoyable area to cruise around though, whether you are in a small resort area or a mid- to large-sized city.

While serious athletes may have no problems cycling anywhere, you could sometimes find it difficult to locate a suitable and safe place for yourself or the whole family to ride. Even as so many cities have built (or are in the process of designing and building) outrageously expensive paths for residents and tourists to traverse, these narrow areas can be congested and difficult to navigate without injury. And you may not only be worried about injury to yourself or kids, but others on the path who seem oblivious to bicycles trying to pass. There are often many other activities going on in multi-use areas too such as jogging, individuals stopping abruptly to look at things along the way, moms strolling babies, or walking pets who may lunge or move unpredictably.

When riding in a multi-use area, follow these safety tips:

  • Give a wide berth to everyone in the vicinity and use normal traffic signals when necessary. Be aware of any speed limits on the path, as well as practicing necessary precautions at crosswalk areas.
  • Manage your speed – a multi-use path is obviously not the venue for high-speed cycling. If you want to ride at faster speeds, choose another area such as the road.
  • Use a loud bell or horn to warn others on the path of your presence, but keep in mind that some (especially when jogging and walking) could be listening to music and unable to hear you.
  • Always yield right of way to pedestrians.
  • Use common sense and patience as everyone moves at their own pace.

Bicycling and walking are meant to be positive activities but can also result in major injuries and even fatalities when proper safety measures are not taken. This is even more true when traveling in normal traffic areas. Defensive riding and walking measures are just as important as defensive driving in traffic.

If you have been injured in a serious bicycle or pedestrian accident due to the negligence of others, your quality of life may have been affected along with your income as you are temporarily, or permanently, unable to work. To consult with a skilled injury lawyer, contact Heintz & Becker today. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.