Florida Road Hazards and Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents can occur very easily since they are very small vehicles. A major issue is how this small size affects motorcycle visibility and leads to other vehicles accidentally running into bikers. Another lesser-known issue that comes with the significantly smaller size of motorcycles is the vulnerability to road hazards that would generally not affect larger vehicles or affect them to a significantly lower extent. Motorcycles have much less weight and lack the stability that four wheels offer so there is a surprising amount of danger for motorcyclists on the roads aside from other drivers.
Common Motorcycle Road Hazards
One of the simplest yet also most dangerous road hazards a motorcyclist can encounter is rough or poorly maintained roadways. There are many parts of the country where infrastructure is in dire need of maintenance meaning roadways with uneven surfaces, bumpy surfaces, cracks, as well as potholes. With a larger vehicle, these road conditions are definitely felt do not affect the stability of four wheels enough to be of serious concern. Motorcycles on the other hand can lose control when traveling on roads in these conditions and the chance of an accident occurring increases significantly.
Roadways, especially those near construction sites can have gravel end up across their surface which can be a serious road hazard for motorcyclists. When a motorcycle’s tires ride over gravel they can lose traction with the road which can cause a bike to slide out. Gravel on turns and curves in the road is especially dangerous since motorcyclists shift their weight to turn which can exaggerate the effects of gravel on bike wheels. Riding across patches of gravel in the road should be undertaken carefully and at a steady speed. Motorcyclists should avoid hard braking, leaning, sharp turning, and accelerating when driving through this type of road hazard.
Edge Breaks Between Lanes
An edge break between lanes is when one traffic lane is either a little higher or lower than where it meets the next lane. There are times where this road hazard is easily missable which can catch motorcyclists unaware and cause an accident. Edge breaks are not very dangerous at lower speeds but when a motorcyclist is traveling on a highway then the immediate shift in elevation between lanes can have a pronounced effect on the stability of a bike and increase the risk of a motorcycle accident occurring when a motorcyclist switches lanes.
When the road is slippery then there is a chance that motorcycles can lose control and cause an accident because of the lack of wheel traction. Slippery roads do not always mean roads wet with water after bad weather but can also include roads wet with paint, oil, or other liquids that may happen to be spilled across the asphalt.
Expansion Joints and Open Bridge Joints
An expansion joint is a piece of metal that connects two segments of the road together. A bridge joint is similar but instead joins parts of a bridge together. These joints are essential to road construction and our infrastructure yet they can be dangerous for motorcyclists. Expansion and bridge joints can create gaps in the road that can catch a motorcycle’s wheel if a rider is not careful about how they travel over them.
Traveling at high speed on a motorcycle comes with the sensation of wind resistance pushing against you as you ride which feels similar to a strong wind. However, actual strong winds can be dangerous for motorcyclists since they can knock them off balance. Strong winds can often be encountered on roads at higher elevations.
Much like with larger vehicles, road debris can be very dangerous for motorcyclists. Things like car accident debris, lost loads from trailers or truck beds, ruined tires, and even stray branches can cause motorcyclists to crash when they are run over or hit by a motorcycle.
Unlike roads that are simply wet, standing water creates an even more dangerous driving condition. Standing water that is even only an inch deep significantly reduces the traction between a motorcycle’s tires and the road. Motorcycles and even larger vehicles that ride over parts of the road that are flooded and have standing water can hydroplane and crash.
Railway tracks may be just a slight bump for cars as they drive over them but motorcyclists can experience a more pronounced effect on their riding when they have to traverse this road hazard. Railroad tracks often will be built into a raised part of the road so that they do not jut and create as much of a bump when ridden over but there are occasions where this is not the case and there will be two rails that can create a pronounced obstacle for riders and catch a wheel if they are not careful when riding over them.
Whether driving through the country or the city, there is a chance that a motorcyclist may encounter a wayward animal in the street. It could be a deer when driving through a wooded area or a runaway dog on a city street. They are still hazards that can either cause a motorcyclist to dangerously swerve out of the way or may be hit by the bike and cause the rider to crash.
Seek an Experienced Clearwater Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Riding is a lifestyle, one that not every attorney understands. If you are suffering from severe injuries, including brain injuries, road rash, spinal injuries, or psychological injuries, as the result of a Florida motorcycle accident, it is important to contact a Florida personal injury attorney to discuss your case. You are entitled to compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering if another driver was negligent, and you should not be afraid to contact a personal injury attorney and explain to him what you are looking for.
Most personal injury attorneys do not charge you anything out-of-pocket. Take advantage of your no-risk, free consultation with the Dolman Law Group, your premier personal injury and motorcycle lawyers in the greater Tampa Bay area. They are here to fight for your right to compensation, and they can advise you as to whether you have a claim for personal injuries under Florida law. Contact them today online or at (727) 451-6900.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765