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Plan Ahead: Check the Weather to Reduce the Risk of California Bicycle Accidents

By Joseph Low on July 9, 2015

bicyclist riding down the highway

Whether you’re running errands on your bicycle or planning a longer trip, checking the weather before you head out is a wise move when you’re bicycling in southern California.  Experienced California accident lawyers know how often weather conditions can affect not only the behavior of drivers, but also the operation of equipment like bicycles and the quality of the roadways.

Here are just a few of the ways in which sudden storms and other summer weather can affect bicyclists, increasing the risk of an accident, according to the Federal Highway Administration:

Changes in air temperature and humidity have some effect on the inflation of bicycle tires and their ability to “grip” roadways and other surfaces.  Particularly hot and dry weather can cause tires to crack, increasing the chances of a flat that might leave a bicyclist stranded or cause an accident.  Temperature and humidity also have varying effects on road surfaces, patch materials, and striping.

Wind speed affects visibility and can blow debris into a bicyclist’s path.  At high speeds, winds can also make it hard for a bicyclist to stay on course.  They also affect how certain vehicles handle on the roads; a driver who is not taking care in windy weather may collide with a bicyclist or pedestrian, causing injuries.  Roadways like bridges, sharp corners, and roads in exposed areas may be particularly affected.

Precipitation makes bicycling more difficult, as every bicyclist knows.  But rain and hail don’t just affect bicyclists and pedestrians.  They also make pavement more slippery and make it harder for drivers to see, increasing their chances of colliding with a bicycle.  Heavy precipitation can also damage or destroy traffic signals and signs, making driver and bicyclist behavior at intersections less predictable.

Posted in: Bicycle Accident

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