Conditions on the road can play a significant part in a motorcycle accident. The weather conditions, road design, and other factors can increase the risk for motorcycle riders to experience an accident and subsequent injuries. Motorcyclists depend more than a standard four-wheel vehicle does on having a solid, uniform, high friction roadway surface for proper control while driving. Hazardous road conditions commonly lead to motorcycle crashes.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation motorcycle deaths occur 27 times more often than deaths in other vehicle accidents.
It is important for motorcyclists to understand what constitutes a dangerous road hazard, remain alert for these hazards, and take required precautions to avoid them.
Several common road hazards that lead to motorcycle accidents include:
Slippery, wet surfaces
Slick surfaces are more hazardous for motorcycle drivers than for drivers of passenger vehicles or trucks. A two-wheeled bike along with its smaller size and lighter weight make it more highly susceptible to sliding on a slippery roadway surface.
The danger increases for a motorcycle rider attempting to make a turn on a wet or slick surface. Road surfaces can be especially dangerous when it first begins to rain. The common advice is to reduce speed significantly and drive in a straight direction in these conditions.
Gravel and other debris
Unfortunately, gravel on roadway pavement is common and poses a dangerous road hazard for motorcyclists. If a roadway is covered with gravel, a motorcyclist driving at high speeds is at significant risk for becoming involved in an accident, particularly if the driver does not have sufficient experience handling his or her vehicle in these conditions. Slowing down and using the back brake alone can help reduce the possibility of a motorcycle crash when driving through patches of gravel.
Animals crossing the road
If you hit an animal such as a squirrel or rabbit while driving a standard car, it is not usually going to cause you or the car significant damage. However, if you do so while driving a motorcycle, the impact can throw you off balance resulting in a crash.
If you crash into a larger animal such as a deer, the potential consequences can include severe injuries and even death.
Even if you miss the animal while riding a motorcycle, the attempt to swerve out-of-the-way can cause a serious accident, particularly if the motorcycle loses control or hits another vehicle or object on or off the road.
Paying attention to the roadway and following speed limit signs constitute some sound advice to help prevent these accidents.
Uneven road surfaces
The driver of a standard motor vehicle can drive over uneven surfaces and not lose control in the slightest. However, a motorcyclist must exhibit much greater caution. For instance, if a motorcyclist drives over pothole at a high rate of speed, the driver may be ejected from the bike completely and suffer serious injuries.
As a motorcyclist driving on an uneven surface, if you are unable to avoid a pothole, it is important to slow down as much as possible and keep the motorcycle straight when passing through this road hazard.
If you have suffered injuries in a motorcycle crash due to another party’s negligence, our team at Martin & Helms can help. Our Huntsville motorcycle injury attorneys can investigate your accident thoroughly and fight for the financial recovery you are owed. To schedule a free, initial consultation about your case, give us a call today at 256.203.0332 or send us a message through our contact form. From our offices in Huntsville and Decatur, we offer our services throughout the Tennessee Valley, including Madison and Athens, in addition to North Alabama.