Common Motorcycle Road Hazards
Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating experience, until you hit the first obstacle — a piece of debris, an uneven road surfaces, a small object or a strip of wet pavement. While these and other road hazards are common causes of motorcycle accidents, particularly in inclement weather, motorcycle riders should be alert for such hazards and take the necessary precautions to avoid them. If the road hazard is the result of another’s negligence, however, it may be possible for an injury victim to recover damages.
J&Y Law has decades of experience helping motorcycle accident victims obtain meaningful compensation. Although the public perception is that motorcycle riders are reckless thrill seekers, our attorneys know how overcome this bias and work to protect the rights of injured motorcyclists.
Common Road Hazards for Motorcycles in Los Angeles
Although road hazards are a danger to all vehicles, road conditions that pose little or no risk to cars, such as highway expansion joints or gravel, can cause serious motorcycle accidents. Given the fact that motorcyclists are not protected by several thousand pounds of metal as they would be in a car, motorcycle accidents often result in catastrophic injuries. With this in mind, it is crucial to be aware of the types of road hazards that cause motorcycle accidents.
- Rough Roads
- Roads that are in disrepair, undergoing construction or being resurfaced, can be rough or bumpy, and often contribute to motorcycle accidents.
- Gravel on Pavement
- Navigating gravel on the road can be difficult for motorcyclists, particularly during cornering or on winding roads, where gravel on the pavement tends to be more common.
- Inexperienced riders or those riding too fast for conditions are at a high risk of being injured in an accident caused by gravel on the pavement.
- Edge Breaks
- Edge breaks occur when two traffic lanes are different heights, which is not a major concern when you’re a driving a car. For an unsuspecting motorcyclist traveling on the highway at high speeds, however, edge breaks can lead to catastrophic motorcycle accidents.
Sections of a road are often connected by expansion joints, which allow the road to expand or contract without cracking or buckling. Additionally, expansion joints are commonly found on sections of the road on bridges and overpasses. Motorcycle accidents can occur If the surface around the expansion joint is in disrepair or becomes slick in wet weather.
Slick surfaces are dangerous for motorcycle riders because most motorcycles only have two wheels, which makes them less stable than cars. Motorcycles are also smaller and lighter than cars and, therefore, more prone to sliding which can result in an accident, particularly when turning. Roads can be made more slippery after rains by leaves, antifreeze or oil, and crosswalk lines or other painted surfaces can become slick as well. Finally, roads can be especially difficult to handle when it rains after a dry spell, as the oil and dirt mix with water to form a slick hazard.
Debris or Objects on the Road
Debris or objects in the road, such as branches and rocks, are hazardous to motorcycles in two ways, either by causing a crash or becoming airborne and striking the rider.
Who is responsible for road hazards?
If a motorcycle accident is caused by road hazards, injury victims can pursue a personal injury claim against the city, county, or state agency responsible for maintaining the roads. Before filing a lawsuit, however, a notice of claim must be filed with the appropriate government agency within 6 months of the date of the injury. Also, having a valid claim requires showing that the party being sued knew, or should have known, about the hazard and failed to take reasonable corrective measures.
Motorcycle accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, including:
- Head injuries
- Fractured and broken bones
- Leg injuries
- Road Rash
- Muscle Damage
- Spinal cord injuries
Motorcycle riders can minimize their level of injury risk by wearing protective gear including helmets, leather jackets, heavy pants, motorcycle boots, and gloves.
Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorneys
Motorcycle accidents often lead to serious injuries, leaving victims with pain and suffering, mounting medical bills, lost wages and property damage. At J&Y Law, we know how to help injury victims obtain just compensation, including both economic and noneconomic damages. The former cover lost wages, medical expenses, property damage and similar losses, while the latter are designed to compensate injured riders for injuries that cannot be quantified, such as pain and suffering, permanent impairment and loss of enjoyment of life. If you were injured in an accident that was caused by a road hazard in Northern or Southern California, call our office today or complete the contact form on our website. The consultation is free and you will not pay any attorney’s fees until we win your case.