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Old 03-30-09, 11:16 AM   #1
wobblyoldgeezer
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Accidents caused by the rain (?????)

This is probably off topic, but I''ll try to make it 50+ relevent by the end.

I'm writing from a dry country with very sketchy driving habits. This weekend we had pretty much the annual rainfall. Huge number of road accidents, sadly many fatal.

The traffic directorate commented that this increase was 'caused by the rainfall'. Not caused by uninformed judgements of speed and proximity to other vehicles, lack of understanding of friction as part of safety etc etc

Would a 50+ bike rider say that rain 'caused' a wipe out or collision? I feel that most of us would say that a failure of anticipation caused it.

Makes me want to join our friends in Advocacy and Safety wishing for cycling proficiency permitting a motorcycle license, and motorcycling proficiency permitting a car license. But, that's the way I did it, so I'm biased!

Oh and in a perfect world I'd like free apple pie on demand
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Old 03-30-09, 11:21 AM   #2
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Lack of experience with the conditions. Is it unfair to expect a driver from Brazil to know how to drive in the snow? Maybe, but they should recognize that something is happening that they don't understand and take care.
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Old 03-30-09, 11:25 AM   #3
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Well, some people choose to remain clueless their whole lives. It takes different forms in different countries and cultures, but the concept of cluelessness is universal. The result often is tragic.

And my perfect world would include ice cream and cofffee with the apple pie.
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Old 03-30-09, 11:31 AM   #4
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Well, on a bike, cycling in the rain means being a bit slower and more careful on corners. Another problem is realizing that you have to brake sooner because the rims are wet.

I have had a fall in the rain that was unforseeable. I was riding very slowly on a corner and the rear wheel went out from under me. It was very similar to falls I have had on slick ice. But I have ridden in rain many times for many miles and never had a problem.
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Old 03-30-09, 12:32 PM   #5
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The first snow of the season here brings out the worst in drivers. By about the third storm they have remembered that some adjustment in driving habits have to be made on snowy or icy, slushy roads. Its like each year they forget until we have had a few storms with many accidents.
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Old 03-30-09, 03:00 PM   #6
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Well, on a bike, cycling in the rain means being a bit slower and more careful on corners. Another problem is realizing that you have to brake sooner because the rims are wet.
I always ride slow- in the corners- in the wet- and the dry and on the flats- but especially uphills. And I rarely go fast enough to have to brake.
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Old 03-30-09, 03:28 PM   #7
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It rains here and many drivers go stupid - driving faster, driving closer, ducking into smaller gaps, etc. It's downright dangerous and that's before you add in slippery roads and poor visibility. Does the rain cause it? I don't know, but the rain's the trigger.

Richard
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Old 03-30-09, 04:18 PM   #8
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No, of course it's caused by stupidity, lack of caution and care, not leaving earlier due to conditions, some people do drive slower, which causes the more stupid ones to become frustrated and drive faster, but understand the human factor. They cannot take responsibility for their own actions, it always must be somebody or something other than they at fault.
Thus, "the rain caused it". Like the kid, "society broke the window."
(It's society's fault).
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Old 03-30-09, 04:49 PM   #9
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The first snow of the season here brings out the worst in drivers. By about the third storm they have remembered that some adjustment in driving habits have to be made on snowy or icy, slushy roads. Its like each year they forget until we have had a few storms with many accidents.
A very similar situation exists here. As to the "stupidity" versus "conditions" debate, IMO it is an interaction of conditions and impulsive driving habits ("stupidity"?). And every year there is a new crop of young inexperienced drivers that get thrown into the mix, with predictable results.

Then there is automotive technology. Modern vehicles are so good that they tend to impart a false sense of control... made worse by four-wheel or all wheel drive. It's four wheel stop that is the problem, not four-wheel go! Then there are folks that just have the wrong vehicle to be out. I live on a big hill and when conditions get bad it is high drama to watch drivers slide down it backwards while their differentials are howling. It's hours of fun to watch!

I often wish there was some some of simulator that could give people the experience of going upside down in a car without killing them... that might help.
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Old 03-30-09, 05:12 PM   #10
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Don't forget that oil will build up on the road and went it
rains that the oil will 'float' to the top potentially making
for a very slick surface.

Jerry
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Old 03-30-09, 09:24 PM   #11
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In Seattle we have what is known as the "sunshine slowdown" on freeways.

When it's sunny out, and drivers aren't used to driving in bright sunlight (esp. in the morning when the sun is low) we get traffic jams....

...but if it rains, we're fine.
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Old 03-31-09, 12:11 AM   #12
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The last problem I can remember was in the late '70s. I got right hooked by a van in the rain. I hit the brakes but with steel rims, that did nothing. Instead, I leaned onto the van and turned with it avoiding either running into it hard or getting run over by it.
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Old 03-31-09, 03:57 AM   #13
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Riding in the rain is hard, riding in the rain in the dark is harder.

I commute by bike at 4am and often run into rain on my ride into work. Those shallow streams that form along the sides of the road can be hazardous as you can't tell the depth when its dark. Your head light or the street light will reflect off the top of the water. If you hear a car coming from behind and you want to get as near the edge of the road as you can, you might need to cross one of these streams and as luck would have it (as it did for me) you might choose the exact spot where the stream glides over a 3' pot hole. Next stop, pavement.
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