Many enthusiasts enjoy the exhilarating experience of riding a motorcycle. However, it does come with risks. As a motorcyclist, you face a variety of dangers, including road hazards like potholes, pavement cracks, and debris. These obstacles can make riding a motorcycle feel like a death-defying feat, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimating that road hazards cause nearly a third of single-vehicle motorcycle crashes. Other drivers may overlook these minor defects, but for bikers, they can be life-threatening. To ensure a safe ride, motorcyclists must always stay alert, maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, and watch out for road hazards. A moment of inattention or a lapse in judgment could result in a tragic motorcycle accident caused by road hazards.


Gravel on the pavement


Gravel is one of the most common factors in motorcycle “lay-downs” and is often a result of inexperienced riders not knowing how to handle their bike on uneven surfaces. Loss of traction can occur when riding around corners, on winding roads, and when traveling too fast. In addition, gravel can be especially hazardous when it is covering potholes or other road defects. To avoid accidents caused by gravel, always slow down in areas with loose gravel and pay close attention to road signs or barricades warning of upcoming road conditions. Try to avoid hard braking or sudden movements, maintaining a steady and smooth pace on gravelly roads.


Pavement edge breaks


An edge break occurs when two traffic lanes are at different heights, which is rarely a problem when driving a car but can be extremely risky for unsuspecting motorcyclists. These breaks can cause bikers to lose control of their motorcycle and can be particularly dangerous when traveling at high speeds. To avoid accidents caused by pavement edge breaks, keep a sharp eye out for changes in road elevation and slow down accordingly. Be sure to maintain a safe following distance and try to stay away from the median line as much as possible.


Road expansion and open bridge joints


Joints that connect two sections of a road or a section of a road to a bridge can also be a significant hazard for motorcyclists. Some joints can be very wide, making it difficult for inexperienced riders to navigate around them. In addition, they can cause a rider’s bike to wobble or lose control, particularly at high speeds. To avoid accidents caused by these open joints, try to stay as straight as possible when approaching and crossing over them, avoiding sudden turns or movements. If you are unable to avoid these joints, slow down and proceed with caution.


Slick surfaces


Riding a motorcycle is exhilarating, but it can also be incredibly dangerous. The unstable nature of a two-wheeled bike, coupled with its smaller size and lighter weight, means that it can be much more difficult to control on slippery surfaces. Unfortunately, many objects and road surfaces can become slippery, making them far more dangerous for motorcycles than for cars. From leaf-covered roadways to painted road striping and crosswalks, light-rail train or trolley tracks, and even oil, antifreeze, hydraulic fluids, and other similar substances that accumulate on road surfaces, these hazards can be perilous for any biker. And let’s not forget standing water snow and ice, which can cause motorcycle tires to hydroplane or skid, leading to accidents that could have serious consequences.


Railway Crossings


Railway tracks may seem harmless, but they can pose a significant threat to motorcyclists. The narrow design of bike tires makes them more vulnerable to sliding or getting caught in the tracks, leading to a crash. It’s crucial to evaluate railway crossings before riding over them to determine potential hazards. If possible, try approaching the tracks perpendicularly, as this minimizes the angle at which your tires cross the tracks. Most crossings have metal or wood panels between the tracks to help even out the surface, but they can become slippery in wet conditions, so be cautious. Additionally, slower speeds, keeping a firm grip on the handlebars, and allowing for a more significant following distance can ensure a safer ride over railway crossings.


Road Debris


Riding near road debris requires immense concentration and agility as any object on the roadway can pose a severe threat to motorcycle riders. The smallest things can cause significant accidents, such as small rocks, branches, and dead animals, which can lead to a loss of control and a possible crash. It’s essential to scan the road ahead continuously, looking for any debris or obstacles that may lie ahead. If you see debris that you cannot avoid, prepare to go over it at a slow pace as opposed to swerving around it. If you ride with a group, make sure to alert other riders of the obstruction, so they can take the necessary precautions as well.


Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Road Hazards: A Serious Issue


Motorcycle accidents caused by road hazards are a serious issue that affects thousands of riders every year. By understanding the statistics and trends associated with these types of accidents, we can take steps to reduce their incidence and keep riders safe. Improving road maintenance, educating riders, and promoting safe riding practices can all help to make U.S. roads safer for everyone.


Protect Yourself from Motorcycle Accidents — Get Experienced Legal Representation Today!


The Toledo injury attorneys at Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault, understand the risks faced by motorcyclists due to higher percentages of deaths and injuries compared to auto and truck accidents. We are dedicated to holding negligent parties accountable for your losses from motorcycle accidents, seeking compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and damages. Trust our experienced lawyers to investigate the factors surrounding your accident, including road hazards, and determine the liable parties. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a road hazard, contact us for a free consultation at 419-843-6663 or fill out our convenient online contact form. We represent motorcycle accident victims in Ohio and southeast Michigan.

With a local personal injury attorney near you, help is just a phone call away.