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Floridians At Risk Of Bike Accidents During Rainy Season

Our northern neighbors either take off the winter months from biking or dress for it as if they are going to skiing. Floridians on the other hand enjoy tropical winters with plenty of sunshine and warm weather. Of course, the crowds of snowbirds and other winter tourists make the roads here as congested and dangerous for bicyclists as it does for motor vehicle drivers. It is the summer months, however, that have less traffic but actually present serious weather-related challenges.

Road bikers need to be prepared for abrupt changes in the weather during rainy season that often includes sudden rainstorms and flooding. While this kind of weather can be particularly dangerous for those on two wheels, there are strategies that are helpful in avoiding accidents and injury.

Get The Right Gear

Modern biking gear made with fabric that dries quickly and/or is lightweight and waterproof can make your ride considerably more comfortable. Here are some other essentials:

A good helmet: This is a necessity in all seasons, but particularly when the roads are wet and the chance of falling increases.

Bright-colored gear: While some think they will look silly, bright clothing enables motorists to more easily see you at any time, but particularly in the rain or darkness.

Reflectors and lights: A blinking bike light and reflectors are essential safety gear for road bikers.

Maintain your bike: Money spent on tune-ups by a professional bike mechanic is money well spent – a properly functioning bike is safer and more enjoyable to ride.

Use Your (Helmeted) Head

Common sense and preventative measures are as important as safety gear. Some important bike safety strategies in all weather include:

  • Stay in the bike lane: Stay in that lane and follow the rules. Also stay off busy main roads whenever possible, particularly when there is rain.
  • Slow down: While it’s tempting to race home in a downpour, give yourself plenty of time to stop and use extreme caution when turning on wet pavement.
  • Engage with motorists: Let them know that you see them and make sure they see you by establishing eye contact if possible.
  • Stay off the sidewalks: Pedestrians on a sidewalk do not expect to see bikes and may react unexpectedly, and corners and crosswalks are dangerous places for bicyclists if motorist do not see them attempting to use a crosswalk.

Get The Help You Need

Accidents and injuries can happen to even the most careful of bicyclists under the most perfect of conditions here in the Miami area, but these tips may be the difference between a safe ride and a life-changing injury or worse. Loss of income, medical expenses and other issues can leave individuals and families in a financial and emotional bind. It is wise to speak with an attorney well versed in personal injury matters if you or a loved one are injured in a bike accident due to the negligence of someone else.

Source: Cycletreks.com, “ Rainy Season: Wet Weather Biking Tips,” May 1, 2018

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