Since the weather has been nice in Indianapolis and throughout central Indiana, masses of people have used the Monon Trail as a form of exercise and transportation. Recently, the Monon Trail has become so popular and widely-used that the Cities of Indianapolis and Carmel have constructed a number of major improvements to improve the trail’s usability. For example, a new bridge was just constructed on the Monon Trail over 146th Street connecting Carmel and Westfield, Indiana. The money that has been put into the bridge is a clear indicator of the importance that Hoosiers place on cycling and utilization of the Monon Trail.
With increased traffic on trails like the Monon, reports of serious injuries have increased over recent years. The accidents on the Monon Trail are caused by countless different combinations; bike vs. bike, bike vs. pedestrian, pedestrian vs. roller blader, and bike vs. motor vehicle at places where the Monon Trail intersects public roadways are all examples of common forms of crashes on the Monon Trail. Some of the injuries people sustain on the Monon may be minor, such as scrapes and small bruises, while others can be severe, including broken bones, fractures, and major head injuries.
The bicycle injury lawyers at Caress Law Group fear that a majority of these injuries are caused by Monon travelers who simply do not understand the safety precautions that must be taken while using trails like the Monon. Other Monon Trail injuries may be caused by those who do understand the safety rules but negligently fail to follow them. We believe that if you keep the following tips in mind on your next trail ride, you will be less likely to sustain an injury:
- Wear a Helmet. It is vitally important to wear a helmet at all times while on your bicycle, but we recommend you never fail to wear a helmet at all times on the Monon Trail. While you may be a safe rider, the person traveling behind you out of control at 20 mph might not be – and that’s your head for the rest of your life. Protect it.
- Exit the Trail if You Must Stop. A lot of different things can happen on the Monon that would require you to take a quick stop: exhaustion, bike chain issues, or stopping to chat with somebody you know. Make sure if any of these things happen that you step to the side of the trail so that Monon traffic can continue to flow at its natural pace.
- Use the Left Lane to Pass. On the Monon Trail, different people travel at all different rates of speed. Make sure that you are on the right side of the trail unless attempting to pass someone – then, use the left lane (as long as no one is coming from the opposite direction!).
- Follow the Rules of the Monon Trail. Check for the signs posted along the trail. Often times, there will be special instructions when certain projects or events are occurring along the trail.
- Ride No More than Two Abreast. Do your best to use no more than half the trail at any given time. Riding any more than two abreast can cause serious congestion, making the Monon Trail even more dangerous.
- Yield to Others. Bicyclists should always yield to other users of the Monon. As you know, Indiana bicycle law requires that your bike be equipped with a bell, so use your bell or let others know you are approaching from behind by saying the famous three words, “On your left!”
- Share the Road. Just like we ask all motorists to share the road, all cyclists should share the trail with everyone else so that all people can enjoy themselves.
If you have been injured by another person on the Monon Trail, be sure to get that person’s contact information and call for a police report if possible. The personal injury bicycle lawyers at Caress Law Group specialize in representing victims of bicycle accidents and victims of those who sustain injuries on the Monon Trail. You have a right to be safe on the Monon Trail, and we tirelessly advocate to enforce those rights. If you or a loved one has been injured on the Monon Trail or anywhere else, please contact the attorneys at Caress Law Group at 317-255-5400 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be honored and privileged to assist you and all initial consultations are free and easy.