How to Stay Visible on the Trail

The stark sun-starved days of November and December are a reminder that pedestrian and cyclist visibility is important any time of year. Fog, blowing snow and even the fully-leaved trees and shrubs of summer can reduce your visibility to others on the trail.

Here are 10 tips for staying visible and safe on and around the trailway. 

For Pedestrians

  1. Wear bright, light-coloured and reflective clothing
  2. Stop and look both ways at all road crossings. Never assume oncoming traffic sees you because you see them.
  3. Be alert and aware of your surroundings. Avoid texting or having your headphone volume too loud. Make sure you can hear approaching trail users and a cyclist’s bell. 
  4. Keep your dogs on a leash and keep the leash taut to avoid entanglement or your dog from surprising other trail users.
  5. Make sure your dogs are visible by using bright, reflective leashes, jackets or collar lights. Dreamland Pet in Elora should have these items for you.

For Cyclists

  1. Stop at every road crossing and look both ways. Some road crossings occur near tight corners which hinders driver visibility.
  2. Equip your bike with front and rear lights. The Bicycle Tailor in Fergus has a number of options to help you see and be seen while riding your bike on dreary days. 
  3. Wear bright, reflective clothing. No need to buy new clothing items; the Bicycle Tailor can order reflective tape to add to your bike, helmet, and gear to keep you visible.
  4. Use a bell to signal your approach.
  5. Slow down around corners to avoid any unexpected run-ins with dogs, horses, pedestrians or other cyclists.

Bonus Tips for Drivers

  1. Stay alert and avoid distractions like texting or talking on the phone.
  2. Watch for trail crossing signs, slow down and scan the area for crossing pedestrians or cyclists.
  3. Adjust your speed for road conditions and respect the posted speed limit.
  4. Ensure your headlights are on during low-visibility conditions like fog or snow so you’re visible to others.

What do you do to ensure you’re visible on the trail? Share your tips and tricks for staying safe and seen on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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