I live in a city in the UK that has an extensive network of foot/cycle paths, and make use of these paths for exercise by cycling on them. I share these paths with pedestrians and other cyclists, which means I have to take care to not become involved in a collision with those walking on said paths. In the winter months this becomes particularly difficult because it becomes dark before 16:00, and:
- many of the paths I use are not illuminated by any sort of lighting
- many walkers on these paths wear dark-coloured clothing
- many walkers do not wear any sort of illumination
In contrast, in order to ensure I am adequately visible when cycling after 16:00, I:
- wear a retroreflective/high-visibility vest
- have front and rear lights on my bicycle that I turn on before I start my ride and turn off at its end
Assume now that during one of my post-16:00 cycling trips on an unlit path, I collide with a completely unlit walker while travelling at a relatively low speed (that I personally would consider "safe") of 15 km/h or 10 mph*. What sort of legal liability could either party expect to be accountable for, given that I am objectively making every attempt to be safe; while the walker objectively is not?
* There does not appear to be any sort of published law in the UK for bicycle speed limits on non-roadways; I'm using 15 km/h here for the sake of the argument.