Slippery surfaces


Last week I was driving my motorcycle to work. I don't need to leave the city to get to work, so the whole journey is in an urban environment. It was a bit cold and the sky was completely clear.

On one of the turns to change streets, I have to go round a traffic circle.

When I arrived at the traffic circle and started to turn, I realized the road surface was wet since there were plants in the interior of the circle and they were being watered. Some of the water had splashed onto the asphalt making a puddle on the inside of the circle.

Too late! I skidded and fell to the ground. The bike was carried several meters and I scratched my hands, legs and feet rather badly.

Second chance:

No matter how good the weather is, you must be aware that you can always run into something unexpected on the asphalt: a drain cover, puddles of water, oil, leaves from trees, potholes...

It's true that it seems to be impossible that our protagonist could have seen that the inside of the traffic circle was hiding a wet area, but we're sure he or she could have avoided the fall by taking the following precautions:

We know that the motorcycle was carried several meters after the fall, so it was going too fast to negotiate a traffic circle safely. A more moderate speed would have certainly help the motorcyclist to be aware of the danger. Then he or she could have reacted earlier and in a different way, thus avoiding the fall.

It would also have helped if he had taken the circle better. Entering into the bend from the outside and keeping his or her eyes on the route to be taken, the driver would have seen the puddle earlier.

Suddenly finding him or herself in the middle of a puddle, the driver may have become anxious and made a abrupt movement like turning too quickly or braking too sharply. The ABS and tires in a good condition certainly help to avoid skidding, but in any case, we should proceed carefully when on a slippery surface. The driver should also have kept going straight so as not to lose the upright position and not force the tires on the wet surface.

We don't know if it was the case here, but you should remember that it is best to avoid driving over the areas which have been painted since these become very slippery. On arrival at a traffic circle it is usually inevitable that you drive over traffic signs painted on the road (yield, lanes, arrows. etc), so you should take care and try to keep the bike upright in these area.

Last, but not least, we should mention clothing. The protagonist speaks of being "badly scratched" during the fall. We can guess that if he or she was not driving too fast, the fall caused injuries which could have been avoided or minimized by wearing more suitable clothing, since we suppose that he or she was not wearing suitable gloves (or none at all) and was not wearing protective pants or shoes.