Although motorcycle riders face various dangers on the road, roadway hazards such as road debris, uneven pavement, and other conditions present acute dangers to riders’ safety. Motorcycles lack the stability of a four-wheeled passenger vehicle or truck that can more easily withstand the impact and effect of these obstacles and threats.
According to statistics from the Insurance Information Institute (III), approximately 5,000 motorcyclists are killed in crashes each year with about 90,000 injured.
Common hazards on the roadway that threaten the safety of motorcyclists include:
- Slippery surfaces. Oil, roadway paint, crosswalk lines, leaves, and train tracks are among the features and obstacles that can create slippery conditions on the road, causing a motorcycle to slide out of control.
- Rough roadways. Roadway surfacing, construction project activities, and poor roadway maintenance can leave bumpy and rough patches in the road that elevate risk of a motorcycle accident.
- Snow, ice and standing water. Each of these conditions are fertile ground for hydroplaning, a real threat to the safety of motorcyclists.
- Gravel. In particular, when a motorcyclist turns around a bend that is covered with excess gravel, the wheels may slip, resulting in a serious crash
- Road debris. Debris in the roadway, such as tree branches, rocks, tire thread parts, tools, and boxes can all present serious dangers that lead to a motorcycle accident.
- Edge breaks between lanes. When two lanes are sitting at different elevations due to milling and paving operations, or any other reason, an edge break exists, presenting a significant hazard to motorcyclists, especially when traveling at high speeds.
- Open bridge joints and expansion joints. Bridge joints connect different sections of a bridge together, while expansion joints connect sections of a road. These joints permit the expansion and contraction of concrete, but also create gaps in the road that may present a hazard to motorcycles.
- Strong wind. When winds are strong enough, they can push against the surface area of the bike and the rider with enough force to throw the rider off balance.
- Railroad crossings. It is possible for motorcycle wheels to get stuck in railway tracks, which can cause serious accidents. As well, wood or metal positioned in between the tracks can become a slippery surface for motorcycle tires when they are wet.
Assigning liability in motorcycle road hazard accidents
Liable parties in motorcycle accidents can include cities, counties, states, or any public agency responsible for maintaining roadway safety. If the accident occurs on private property, businesses or individuals may be held liable.
The designation of liability to one or more parties depends on various factors, including:
- The type of road hazard involved
- The reason the hazard was on the road
- Whether the hazard could or should have been removed
- The types of actions performed by the motorcyclist and other drivers
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can work hard to prove the governmental entity or any responsible maintenance crews failed in their responsibility to maintain a safe roadway. Strong legal advocates can work with engineering and construction professionals who are able to evaluate the shortcomings of the agencies’ work and why these failures led to the motorcycle crash and associated injuries.
If you have suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident due to the failure of a local government to maintain safe road conditions, our Chicago injury attorneys at Gainsberg Law can investigate your accident, conclude who is liable, and fight to help you recover the financial compensation you need. To schedule a free, initial consultation, call our legal team today at 312.313.1621 or complete our contact form.