Safe Trails: Turn, Turn, Turn

U TurnSeveral years ago, I was traveling in my car behind an elderly driver who was driving very slowly in the left lane of a four-lane road. I waited patiently until the driver moved into the right lane and I began to accelerate to pass. To my utter surprise, the driver began to make a U turn right in front of me. I slammed on my brakes and my tires squealed as I stopped ever so close to the driver’s side door. I expected to see the driver display a frightened and apologetic expression, but instead, the driver simply completed the U turn without even realizing I was there!

I recently rode my bicycle on the Little Miami Scenic Trail. As I headed north across the new O’Bannon Creek bridge near Loveland, I encountered a couple also on bikes. Just as I called out “on your left” to pass, one of the two riders made a U turn in front of me and fell when he failed to negotiate the turn. He received a bloody arm and leg and ended up on his knees. If I hadn’t been there to help, he would have had a very difficult time getting to his feet.

Clearly, the seemingly simple act of turning around bears risks and should be done with care. Here are three tips for U turn safety.

  • No matter your mode (bicycling, walking, running, etc.), check carefully (look and listen) for other trail users before turning around.
  • Expect other trail users to turn around unexpectedly and be prepared to react.
  • Dismount your bicycle, turn around (after ensuring the coast is clear), and then remount.


For everything, there is a season. The season to enjoy the Little Miami Scenic Trail has arrived. Turn, turn, turn.


by Erick Wikum

May 2024

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