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How to Commute in the Rain

Person with an umbrella walking on campus in the rain.

Whether you’re a Bruin or visitor coming by car, bus, or bike to campus, we’ve got tips for a rainy-day commute. Weatherproofing your trip requires just a little planning to prevent a dark cloud from hanging over you, and staying safe, as you make your way to UCLA.

For drivers, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation recommends giving yourself more than enough time to travel, being aware of your surroundings, and staying informed. The most crucial tip? ️Slow down! Roads can get very slippery. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles and be extra careful when driving around curves and on-ramps. 

And here's how to recover if you skid from the American Automobile Association: continue to look and steer in the direction you want the vehicle to go. Avoid slamming on the brakes, as it will further upset the vehicle's balance and make it harder to regain control.

For the bus and rail riders, know before you go by checking the weather report. It might be different for your start and end points. Most transit agencies like LA Metro and Big Blue Bus post and share major service alerts via their websites and social media channels. Mobile apps like Transit can also provide updates on any changes. Real-time information is super helpful with inclement weather. 

Dress warmly in layers. Remember to bring any rain gear you need. Keep your umbrella with you (and off the seat and not jabbing a fellow passenger). Before you disembark, look around before you leave for all your belongings. Also important, watch your footing on wet surfaces. Slow down and step carefully. 

To ride out the rain on your bike, dress for warmth to start also with layers, and consider packing some dry clothes for your final destination. Stay seen with bright, fluorescent, or reflective clothing. Being highly visible is key. That includes front and rear lights.

Get your bike ready for rain with front and rear fenders which protect you and the bike from the elements. 

Puddles are hazards to avoid. With all that wetness, braking will be different too. Stopping your bike will take longer. Give yourself extra space in case you have to brake suddenly. Cycle slowly and carefully.

Have a safe trip, commuters!

Photo Credit: UCLA