Why are grass clippings in the road dangerous?

On Behalf of | May 8, 2024 | Bicycle Accidents |

Bicyclists often have to ride through residential and business areas. Many people caring for lawns near roads might not think much about what happens to the grass clippings when they cut grass or trim weeds, but paying attention to this can actually be a matter of life or death. Additionally, blowing grass clippings into the road is illegal in California.

Grass clippings in the roadway may seem harmless because people always see cars driving over them. But, those same grass clippings can lead to a catastrophic crash for a bicyclist. 

Grass clippings negatively impact traction

Grass clippings in the road can lead to a loss of traction for bicyclists. Because bicycles have one drive wheel, losing traction on that one can mean disaster for the bicyclist. 

The hazard of grass clippings in the road increases if those clippings become damp, even if it’s only from morning dew. Damp grass clippings become slippery, so it’s like the bicyclist is riding on ice when they have to drive over the clippings. 

Catastrophic crashes are possible

There are two ways that crashes might occur when a bicyclist encounters grass clippings. The first is that they lose control and fall off the bicycle. This could mean they hit the ground and suffer an injury. It could involve another vehicle striking them. 

If the bicyclist swerves to avoid the clippings, they can still fall off the bike or they might initially retain control of the bicycle before being struck by a vehicle in the lane they swerved into. 

Injured bicyclists can turn to a personal injury claim to seek compensation from the negligent party for the financial damages of their injuries. These cases have strict time limits in California, so swift action is critical.