Motorcyclists face a number of dangers on the roads of New Jersey and New York. Careless drivers, inclement weather, and wildlife are just a few common issues that lead to motorcycle accidents. However, the condition of the roads you ride can be just as important to your safety as traffic and other events outside of your control.
Many riders overlook motorcycle road hazards, assuming that they are at fault for accidents in which only their bike is involved. However, if the negligence of another party resulted in the hazard, you may be able to recover compensation in a motorcycle accident claim.
The motorcycle accident lawyers at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi can help if a road hazard caused you to crash. Contact our lawyers in New Jersey or New York to review your case for free.
Hazards on the Road All Motorcyclists Should Know
Cars and other motor vehicles can navigate bad roads and temporary hazards with relative ease. Motorcyclists, on the other hand, do not have the same protection from dangerous road conditions.
Stability is crucial for the safe operation of a motorcycle. Anything that disrupts the balance of the bike can cause the rider to lose control. Even the most skilled motorcyclists may be unable to prevent a crash if they run across a road hazard unexpectedly.
Common motorcycle road hazards that threaten riders include:
This enemy of the tires and suspension of every car is even more dangerous for motorcycles. A deep pothole can cause motorcyclists to be thrown from their bikes when traveling at high speeds.
Potholes form over time as a result of road use and changes in the asphalt caused by moisture entering the ground below the asphalt. Issues such as poor construction and negligent maintenance can make potholes more likely to form.
2. Standing Liquids
Water, oil, paint, and other substances can pool on the surface of the road. For cars, this generally results in a minor inconvenience. For motorcycles, however, standing water and other liquids can present a major hazard.
When the tires can’t grip the road surface, it is difficult for motorcyclists to avoid losing control. Slick surfaces are a leading cause of single-vehicle accidents involving motorcycles.
3. Ice and Snow
The climate in New Jersey and New York is prone to snowfall and freezing conditions. For many motorcyclists, this puts a hard stop to riding for the season. If you decide to brave the weather or take a ride when the snow starts to melt, it is important to recognize the dangers presented by ice and snow.
Like other drivers, motorcyclists have a responsibility to reduce speed and use extra caution when riding on snowy or icy streets. However, negligent maintenance and snow removal can exacerbate the danger and lead to accidents.
Loose gravel is particularly hazardous for motorcycles when taking a corner. Although reducing your speed to navigate the turn can alleviate some of the danger, the sudden loss of traction can cause the motorcycle to slide out from beneath the rider.
Riding safely across gravel is similar to riding over a patch of ice or liquid in the road. The key is consistent speed, even steering, and not braking suddenly.
All kinds of objects can wind up in the middle of the road. From garbage to parts of vehicles, drivers and motorcyclists need to be aware of these hazardous items. Until the debris is removed, it presents a serious risk of accidents – especially for motorcycles.
Debris in the road may not be removed for some time, posing an ongoing threat to traffic. However, perhaps the most dangerous situation occurs when an object falls off of the vehicle in front of you. The effects can be catastrophic if the object directly strikes your motorcycle. But, even if you take evasive action and avoid the object, the sudden maneuver may still cause you to crash.
6. Uneven Road Surfaces
Multiple issues can cause the surface of a road to be rough or bumpy. Poor construction, substandard maintenance, and heavy traffic can all make asphalt more difficult to drive.
An uneven or worn road presents a significant challenge to motorcyclists, who may struggle to maintain control as they ride across the bumpy and pitted surface. Danger may also be present on the side of the road if the shoulder is worn or damaged, creating a sudden drop known as an edge break.
For a free legal consultation, call (201) 585-9111
Who Is Liable for Road Hazards in Motorcycle Accidents?
Many of these hazards result in single-vehicle accidents where the motorcyclist may seem like the only person who could be at fault. In reality, however, injured motorcyclists may be entitled to compensation through a claim against the party or parties responsible for a dangerous or defective roadway.
Generally, this means filing a claim against the state or local government entity responsible for negligent design, construction, and maintenance of the road. Claims against the government are subject to special rules, so it is important to consult an attorney as soon as possible if you suffered injury due to dangerous conditions on a public road.
If your motorcycle accident occurred because of an object or debris that fell off another vehicle and into the road, you may be able to bring a claim against the driver of the vehicle. The vehicle owner may be at fault if a part of the vehicle fell off or cargo was unsecured.
Unsecured cargo is a significant problem with semi-trucks. If you were hit or forced into a crash by loose items that fell off a semi, the driver of the truck, the company that loaded the cargo, and other parties may be liable in a truck accident claim.
Injured by a Road Hazard? Our Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Can Help
Not all accidents involve collisions between two or more vehicles. At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, we recognize the dangers motorcyclists face and we know that liability for an accident is not always straightforward.
Our team thoroughly investigates motorcycle accidents to determine their cause, gathering evidence of road hazards and other issues to identify all liable parties. We build a strong case on your behalf and aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve.
Please call (201) 585-9111 today for a free consultation. The attorneys at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi serve riders injured by motorcycle hazards in Fort Lee and all of New Jersey, as well as New York.