Davis California is one of the friendliest bicycling cities in California and the nation. Over 20 percent of its commuters use a bicycle on a daily basis, and it has over 100 miles of bike lanes and paths which rivals some cities twice it size.
Then there’s the sun. It’s sunny an average of 267 days a year, and even when it rains, it often will turn sunny and dry out before the day is done. The temperature is usually mild in the winter making cycling possible all year long.
But when the rain does come, it can be challenging for many cyclists not used to it. Some problems like getting to work somewhat dry or keeping the rust off the bike pop up, but more importantly, safety issues arise when biking in the rain.
Accidents in the rain can still happen the same as dry sunny days, but there are added difficulties and risks when it rains. Some of the causes of accidents waiting to happen in the rain are:
- Loss of Traction: Simply put, a slick ground has less friction and won’t hold the tire to the road in the same way. One trick is to lower the tire pressure by about 30 psi and use a wider tire, say a 25 mm instead of the standard 21 mm.
- Loss of Corner Control: Less traction means that corners can be a problem too. Places where you are used to leaning and rounding a corner might now be a place for an accident. Bottom line, go slower and don’t lean as much.
- Slick Spots. There are slick spots that show up when wet and go away when it dries out. So, these can take you by surprise if not careful. Anytime you come up to a slick spot, stop peddling, don’t turn, don’t hit the brakes hard and do take a straight line through the spot. Two of the most troubling of these are painted lines and numbers and oil on the road. If you see a rainbow sheen on the road, it’s a bet that the rain has brought some of the oils on the road to the surface making it slick.
- Don’t Ride in the Puddles: Let’s face it, once you get wet and you no longer are worried about the dirt on your clothes, it’s tempting to ride through a puddle and make a splash. But this has disaster written all over it. The puddle might be deeper than you thought or have a harder edge than is seen. There might be a rock or other debris concealed in the puddle, and a sudden splash of water might make it tough to brake for a few moments.
- Out of the Saddle: When riding, many cyclists stand up fully or partially in some spots to either peddle harder or take the bumps a little softer on the bottom. But standing up can put even more weight on the front tire which is the critical tire for traction and stability. Staying seated will distribute the weight more evenly and not put the front at risk for suddenly losing traction.
- Bad Brakes: All cyclists know that the way you brake can make a big difference, like don’t use your front brake when turning your front tire. In the rain, there are some positive braking habits that can save you from an accident like gradually slowing down and riding softer on the brakes.
Rain and Bike Accident Liability
Rain reduces stopping time and lowers the visibility of the drivers. Cyclists suffer enough from their low profile on a sunny day, so when water is coming down on windshields or splashing up off the road, drivers will not be able to see cyclists as well.
Because of this, the law requires both motorists and cyclists to be prudent and reasonable when operating their vehicles. Failing to do is negligent, and if your negligent and you get injured, then you may be out compensation.
In California, each person involved in the accident will be assigned a percentage of fault in a personal injury accident, and your compensation will be reduced by hour percentage of fault if you are hit by a motorist.
At Bay Area Bicycle Law, we understand how difficult it can be riding in the rain, especially when most cyclists have little experience in the rain. But if you do get injured in the rain, we will be ready to help you. Don’t assume that it’s your fault because maybe you braked too hard or thought you might have been going too fast. Remember, both vehicle operators will be looked at for negligence.
Contact a Davis Bicycle Accident Lawyer.
Bay Area Bicycle Law is the only personal injury law firm in Northern California to specialize exclusively in representing injured cyclists. Years of advocacy for bicycle victims have seasoned our attorneys with the necessary skills, knowledge base and familiarity to handle bicycle accident cases with the utmost level of professional expertise.
Contact us today for a free consultation. California cyclists who are injured by negligent drivers are entitled to a wide array of compensation. We will always offer you legal advice which is in your best interest.