Bicycling and Rain Don’t Mix in Vancouver B.C.
Jeffrey S. Witten
The monsoons are upon us once more.
For Vancouver cyclists the rainy season means that extra caution is advisable.
Under the best of weather conditions cycling on Vancouver's roadways can be a risky proposition. But once the rain starts to fly the plight of cyclists becomes even more pronounced.
What safety issues should cyclists be aware of?
The research indicates that the risk factors include:
- Time of Day : 17 percent of deaths and 23 percent of injuries occur during the afternoon rush hour. And 30 percent of cyclist fatalities happen at night or under artificial light conditions;
- Location : Cyclists are more likely to be injured or killed at an intersection or at locations with traffic signals or other traffic control devices. In rural areas, a significant number of cyclist fatalities occur on roads with posted speed limits of 80 km/h or more;
- Age : Cyclists under the age or 24 have significantly higher death and injury rates than the rest of the population.
What issues are specific to cyclist injury claims:
- When a cyclist gets injured I've found that ICBC almost always contests responsibility/liability. The information provided by witnesses is often critical to winning a cyclist's case. The moral of the story here is get the names, telephone numbers and addresses of witnesses;
- The damage caused to your bike may also be useful in sorting out the issue of responsibility/liability. Don't get your bike fixed before having it photographed and inspected by an individual who has the skill necessary to properly document and describe the damage caused by your accident;
- If the car that hit you was damaged in the accident, this damage also helps tell the tale of how the accident happened. Once the damage to this car gets repaired that "evidence" is gone. If you bring this matter up with your ICBC adjuster they'll probably tell you not to worry as they've taken pictures of the car. In my experience the quality of their pictures is poor at best.
So all my cyclist clients and friends, stay safe. And be careful out there.
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