Debris that is on the road is a major contributing factor for motorcycle accidents. Take for example; there was recently a deadly motorcycle accident that was attributed to debris in the road. In May of this year, a motorcyclist was driving westbound on Interstate 30 when they struck a mattress that had fallen from another vehicle. The motorcyclist struck the mattress and went off the road where he, unfortunately, struck a light pole and suffered catastrophic injuries. According to witnesses on the scene, the mattress had fallen out of a truck that was traveling the same direction as the motorcycle, however, the truck was not identified. This unfortunate accident highlights the danger that debris left on the road can pose to motorcycle drivers.
Road Hazards a Threat to Texas Motorcyclists
In fact, roadway debris and other road conditions pose a much greater hazard and a threat to motorcycles than they do to larger vehicles. Objects in the road that a driver of a car might not even notice if they drive over may cause a serious and severe accident for a motorcycle driver. Some of the road hazards that can pose a risk to motorcyclists include:
Rough roads – When roads are not kept in pristine condition they can develop rough and bumpy batches. In addition, roads can develop ridges in the road. While there are current highway standards that permit ridges of up to 1.5 inches without tapering, however, some authorities have complained that while this may be acceptable for a standard vehicle, that these ridges and road conditions pose particular problems for a motorcyclist.
Gravel on the road – Gravel that is not removed from the road is another common condition on the road that can lead to accidents and injuries for bikers. While this is a very common feature on roads; gravel is one of the most difficult conditions for a rider to navigate. While gravel and sand can pose a problem to any motorcyclist, it can present an increased danger when the biker encounters it while they are making a turn. Even if a biker is driving at a slower speed they may still lose control of their bike if they hit a patch of gravel on the road.
Animals – Animals that run out into the road pose a problem for all drivers. However, when there is a bike on the road even small animals can cause a motorcyclist to lose control of their bike and subsequently be involved in an accident. A motorcycle may lose control if the driver rapidly swerves their bike to get out of the way of the animal, or if they run over the animal. In addition to small animals, large animals such as deer can be fatal for a motorcycle driver.
Slick surfaces - When you are driving a motorcycle; leaves, crosswalk lines painted surfaces, anti-freeze, and oil, can all cause you to lose control of your motorcycle. While cars, trucks and vans can usually traverse these slick surfaces with relative ease, they commonly cause a motorcycle to lose traction in one or both wheels, which can cause the driver to lose control of their motorcycle. In addition, the National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety, which was published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, specifically noted that metal road surfaces offer almost no traction when they are wet. Metal surfaces are common in many construction sites and are almost impossible to see beforehand if there is not a sign warning drivers.
Edge breaks and expansion joints – These road features that are particularly common around bridges and construction sites also cause motorcycle accidents. An edge break is when two traffic lanes are different heights. These are common when a road is undergoing repair or when they are being paved, as most roads will be completed one side at a time. While these edge breaks are not a major problem for standard vehicles, motorcycles can lose control if they have to go over a ridge. Expansion joints connect two sections of a road together or a section of a road to a bridge. Expansion joints, which look like a zipper, allow the road to expand or contract without cracking. The uneven surface can cause motorcycle riders to crash and can become slick in wet weather. While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires that these ridges be limited to less than 1.5 inches, this is still a dramatic break for a motorcycle to traverse.
What Can I Do To Avoid Road Debris?
There are many times that a motorcycle driver will have to avoid hazards and debris on the road such as branches or items from another vehicle. It is important for a driver to pay attention to the debris that is on the road. Debris that is left on the road can be deadly, as was noted by the unfortunate accident noted above.
If you notice that there is debris on the road that may pose a danger to drivers then you should report it immediately. There is a national hotline where you can report dangerous road conditions, which includes road debris. If you notice debris on the road you may call (800) 525-5555.
Dallas Injury Attorneys Fighting for Motorcycle Crash Compensation
The motorcycle injury attorneys at Queenan Law have over 20 years of legal experience helping accident victims fight to obtain compensation for their pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and the other hardships that result from a serious crash or collision. Taking a proactive and strategic approach to every claim, we are firmly committed to providing our clients with aggressive legal representation. After you’ve been seriously hurt in any kind of vehicular accident, you need to get plenty of rest. Let the experienced Dallas motorcycle accident injury lawyers of Queenan Law handle the legal work and settlement negotiations, so that you can simply focus on recuperating. We will work closely with you to keep you fully informed of every detail and progression in your case.
To set up a free legal consultation with a Dallas personal injury lawyer, call our law offices at (817) 476-1797. We can help you understand whether you have a claim and the possible legal options that may be open to you and your family at this time. Our injury attorneys are proud to represent the residents of Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth, and Arlington.