Monday, December 1, 2014
Surprisingly Dangerous Road Hazards for Motorcyclists to Avoid
Bumps, cracks, debris, and other hazards in the road that wouldn’t necessarily affect cars can be the cause of horrific motorcycle accidents. Because of the two-wheeled design that requires impressive balance and careful technique to safely operate, motorcycles are often looked at as the most dangerous motor vehicles on our roads today; and rightfully so.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2012 alone, 4,957 people were involved in fatal motorcycle crashes. Categorizing each crash by type would be an impossible task, but it’s safe to assume that a good amount of these crashes were caused by road conditions that a motorcycle just simply could not handle (or that the motorcyclist was incapable of navigating through or upon).
Motorcyclists are about 26 times more likely to die in a collision than car occupants—there’s simply very little protection offered to them. Having the best possible safety gear can only increase a rider’s chance of survival; it can never guarantee it. For this reason, it’s important for motorcyclists to know their limits and learn when and how to avoid road hazards that may be commonly overlooked by their car-driving neighbors.
Common road hazards that could cause a serious accident:
Imperfect roadways—caused by natural wear and tear, construction mistakes or works in progress, and multiple other reasons. Some roads are also made without the forethought of motorcyclists and prove to be dangerous because of that. Whether it’s a poorly paved road, a sudden dip, or a bridge joint; motorcyclists can have a hard time navigating through them whereas cars may not.
Edge breaks are also extremely dangerous for motorcyclists (and bicycle riders alike), but require little or no attention by car drivers. Edge breaks are the visible height changes in parallel lanes, often separating two or more lanes of traffic that are traveling in the same direction. This is usually only an imperfection in the road pavement process and not necessarily a “feature” put in place for a reason.
Animals, debris, or objects in the road—whether it be a soda can, a McDonald’s bag, or some broken up rocks or gravel, these objects (which would be easily crushed by cars) may cause a motorcyclist to lose control and crash.
Animals—especially large ones—can injury serious property damage and personal injury upon any motor vehicle drivers, but car drivers have some protection. Colliding with an animal could send a motorcycle rider tens of feet down the road and could even result in death.
Wet, slippery, or slick surfaces—a small puddle can be life-changing for a rider. If the tire loses contact with and slides across the roadway (hydroplanes) for even a split second, it could be difficult for a motorcyclist to recover from. Leaves, crosswalk lines, train/trolley tracks, and anything else that takes wheels off of asphalt for any length of time should be traveled over cautiously or avoided altogether. The paint used for crosswalk lines becomes extremely slippery when wet and even poses as a hazard for pedestrians.
Seasonal weather conditions—with the winter season rapidly approaching, ice and snow is expected (and already has in some areas) to take over our roadways. Motorcyclists should always plan ahead and check out the weather forecast before hopping on their bikes and zooming away.
CONTACT OUR CLEARWATER & TAMPA BAY AREA MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS
For more information on motorcycle safety, tips, and legal help, visit our website at www.dolmanlaw.com.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys of Dolman Law Group for a free consultation and case evaluation. With our no recovery, no fee guarantee, you’ve got nothing to lose if we don’t recover the financial compensation you deserve.