Apart from crashes with passenger vehicles, road hazards are among the leading causes of motorcycle injuries and deaths. Gravel, potholes, or uneven pavement may have little effect on a car, but these things can pose real danger for motorcycles, which are more apt to lose control. From standing water to rough pavement, here some of the major road hazards motorcyclists need to be prepared for.
Road Hazard #1: Gravel
Loose gravel, small rocks and sand are a huge hazard, causing bikes to lose traction, slide out and crash. Gravel tends to accumulate around off ramps and construction sites, so keep an eye out, especially when cornering.
Road Hazard #2: Slippery Surfaces
Whether caused by an oil leak, snow or ice, slick surfaces are a constant threat to motorcyclists. Autumn months are particularly bad, as leaves drop from trees, get rained on, and turn into a slippery mess. Heavy rains and puddles of standing water are also a recipe for disaster. Depending on your speed and your tires, you can hydroplane, losing all contact with the road surface.
Road Hazard #3: Debris
Debris or objects in the road pose two risks for bikers. Old tire threads, rocks, tree branches or items fallen off a truck can strike the motorcyclist, causing serious injury, or cause them to lose control and crash.
Road Hazard #4: Rough Roads
If you are driving near a construction site, it’s not uncommon to find uneven levels of road, surface grooves that trap tires and potholes. Roads in obvious disrepair and those being resurfaced can compromise the bike’s stability. Be wary of “tar snakes” – patches of hot tar used to fill pavement cracks. When the temperatures climb, these patches get slippery, and can lead to a wipe out.
Road Hazard #5: Edge Breaks
When two lanes of highway are different heights, this is known as an edge break. These are no big deal for vehicles but pose a big danger to motorcycles when traveling at high speeds.
While it’s impossible to avoid all road hazards, you can take these steps to be better prepared when riding in less than ideal road conditions:
- Always wear protective clothing and a motorcycle helmet
- Take a motorcycle safety course
- Reduce your speed
- Avoid tailgating
- Practice good posture
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Avoid sudden movements
Legal Resources for NY motorcyclists
Headquartered in Long Island, the law firm of Edelman, Krasin and Jaye has the resources and expertise to establish liability in all types of motorcycle accidents, including those caused by road debris and hazards.
When road hazards result in serious injury or death, victims may have a claim for damages against the person, business, or government entity responsible. If you or someone you love were injured in a crash, we can outline your legal rights at no charge to you.
Arrange a free, no-obligation case review with a veteran New York motorcycle accident lawyer by calling 800-469-7429.
Additional Resources on Motorcycle Road Hazards:
- Motorcycle Island, How to Avoid the Top 7 Road Hazards for Motorcycles https://www.motorcycleisland.com/safety/top-7-road-hazards/
- Motorvike.com, Road Hazards
- Foremost Insurance, Motorcycle Riding: Avoiding Hazards on the Road http://www.foremost.com/mygreatoutdoors/driving-guide/motorcycles/motorcycle-safety-avoiding-hazards-on-the-road.asp