All motorists should keep an eye out for road hazards, like debris, icy surfaces, and potholes. Doing so, however, is especially important for motorcyclists, as some hazards, such as uneven road surfaces, which have little effect on drivers, can have potentially fatal consequences for motorcyclists. Unfortunately, even those who remain vigilant for dangerous road hazards, could end up involved in an accident because of the negligence or lack of care of a road construction crew or even a government agency. If you believe that unsafe roads contributed to your own motorcycle accident, our dedicated Florida motorcycle accident lawyers are standing by and ready to advise you.
Common Road Hazards
Motorcycle riders tend to encounter more road hazards than motorists who drive other vehicles. The most common include:
- Rough roadways, caused by uneven asphalt and potholes;
- Loose gravel, which can easily cause a motorcycle to lose traction;
- Edge breaks, which occur when one traffic lane is lower or higher than another and are especially dangerous on freeways, where riders are more likely to be traveling at high speeds;
- Slippery surfaces caused by oil, grates, or wet leaves, which can result in a loss of control;
- Icy roads and standing water, which can cause a motorcycle to hydroplane or lose traction;
- Expansion and bridge joints, which are pieces of metal that connect sections of a road or bridge together, allowing concrete to expand without cracking, but which can also create gaps in the road;
- Railway crossings, in which motorcycle tires can become lodged, throwing the motorcyclist from the vehicle; and
- Road debris, such as tire treads, tree branches, rocks, and trash, which can strike a motorcyclist while riding.
Even the most careful motorcyclist could end up injured in an accident after coming into contact with one or more of these hazards.
There are a variety of ways that motorcyclists can reduce their chances of being involved in a road hazard-related accident, many of which are specific to the type of hazard in question. Motorcyclists who must cross railways, for instance, are encouraged to do so by traveling in a straight, perpendicular line. By avoiding traveling at an angle and by maintaining their speed or accelerating with moderation before crossing railroads, motorcyclists can also help lighten the front of their motorcycles, which in turn can prevent the tires from becoming lodged in the tracks. Similarly, bikers who are approaching loose gravel are encouraged to minimize the lean of their motorcycle and avoid accelerating, swerving, or quick braking. All of these make it more likely that a motorcycle will lose control, while those approaching expansion and bridge joints should try to avoid significant changes in speed or direction and should keep their wheels in a straight line. Finally, checking the weather and avoiding certain conditions when riding, as well as remaining alert at all times can play a critical role in helping motorcyclists avoid road hazards.
Work with a Lawyer on Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
While many crashes are avoidable, some, including those caused by someone else’s negligence, cannot be prevented by the victim. In these cases, accident victims could be entitled to compensation for their losses. Contact Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum, LLP at 305-371-2692 to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of your own case.