Motorcyclists Should Look Out For These Hazards in the Rain
Staying alive when wet.
Well, Malaysia is in the grips of the monsoon at the time of writing. But just as the hot days seem hotter nowadays, so is the intensity of the rains. Riding in the rain and on wet roads are particular challenges that not many motorcyclists enjoy, but your confidence will increase if you know what to look out for and take precautionary steps.
1. Riding through puddles
Sure, puddles were fun when you were a kid, but they can be dangerous when you are riding.
For one, puddles can look deceptively shallow, which tricks you into riding into them at high speeds. Don’t do it. Deep water acts as a speed brake, which is like running into a brick wall. If not that, it can cause aquaplaning, hence loss of traction. Be mindful also that if you hit a puddle at high speed, it may cause the water to splash up into your face and obstruct your vision.
2. Big puddles in the opposite lane
Slow down when you see a large puddle on the lane opposite you. An idiot in a car may think it is funny to drench you, but he probably did not realise that the wall of water will cause you to lose sight of the road and traffic in front of you.
How to Drive Safely during one of Malaysia’s EPIC Rainfall.
After the rain, comes the rainbow!
3. Oil patches
Roads are especially slippery when the rain first starts to fall. That is because the water lifts oils from the cracks in the road to the surface. Also treacherous are the fluids leaked from garbage trucks. So, slow down if you smell fuel, oil and garbage while riding.
Back to puddles. Vehicles that splash through them usually throw up fine pebbles and dirt onto the middle of the road.
This is especially true if you like to bomb canyons. While we are not referring to landslides that take the whole side of a hill away, you can bet on finding a thick layer of topsoil across the road sooner or later. There is no coming back if you run hot into a corner and slip over it.
Of course, watch out for car drivers too. It seems that rain somehow scares those in covered conveyances into driving erratically, more than us bikers who are exposed.