Fatalities from motorcycle accidents comprise 5% of all traffic deaths per year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Motorcycle crashes claimed the lives of nearly 4,700 people in 2015, which was more than double the number in 1997, as reported by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Road hazards are one of the most frequent causes of motorcycle accidents.
Road hazards exist for all forms of vehicles, of course. But road conditions that pose little or no danger to cars, such as highway expansion joints, can cause major accidents for a motorcycle. This is especially true in inclement weather.
And, of course, motorcyclists are relatively unprotected in the event of an accident. Helmets can reduce injuries, particularly to the head. But not all states mandate helmets. There are not several thousand pounds of metal protecting motorcyclists as there are with cars.
As a result, motorcyclists should watch out for the top 5 road hazards that cause motorcycle accidents. Being aware of road hazards is an essential part of a motorcycle driver and rider safety plan.
Road Hazard #1: Rough Roads
Roads that are rough and bumpy are the #1 road hazard for motorcyclists. Motorcyclists should make every effort to avoid construction work, resurfacing, or just roads in poor condition.
Road Hazard #2: Gravel
Gravel can cause a motorcyclist to spin or a driver to lose control. It is particularly dangerous when turning a corner. It tends to be more prevalent on rural, winding roads. Bikers like to use these roads because they’re scenic, but need to pay close attention to the gravel hazard.
Road Hazard #3: Edge Breaks
Edge breaks occur when two adjacent traffic lanes are not the same height. This can be noticeable in a car, but isn’t dangerous. It can be dangerous for motorcyclists, though, as it affects operation of the vehicle.
Road Hazard #4: Expansion Joints
Expansion joints suture two sections of a road together, or a road to a bridge. They are a means for the road to expand or contract as needed without cracking the surface. These are especially dangerous for motorcyclists in inclement weather.
Road Hazard #5: Open Bridge Joints
Joints are also used to hold separate sections of a bridge together, for the same reason expansion joints are used on roads. On bridges, though, some joints are quite wide. The width and the variability in surface also can make it hard for motorcyclists to maintain control of their vehicle. Inclement weather increases the danger here as well.
If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident in Louisiana
Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers is experienced in motorcycle accident law. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed due to the negligence of another party on a Louisiana road, we can provide advice on your rights at no charge to you.
For a free consultation with a Baton Rouge or Lafayette motorcycle accident lawyer, call today or contact us online.
Additional “road hazards and motorcycle accidents” resources:
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Highway Loss Data Institute. Motorcycles. Motorcycles and ATVs. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/motorcycles/fatalityfacts/motorcycles
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Motorcycle Safety. https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/motorcycle/motosafety.html
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Motor Vehicle Safety. Motorcycle Safety. https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/mc/index.html