Indianapolis Motorcycle Accidents and Road Hazards

May 23, 2016 | Motorcycle Accidents

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety[1] the federal government estimates that per mile traveled in 2012, the number of deaths from motorcycle accidents was more than 26 times the number of auto accidents. Motorcycle deaths accounted for 13% of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2013.

Indianapolis Road Hazards for Motorcycles

The unstable nature of a two-wheeled bike and the smaller, lighter size mean that motorcycles face many different road hazards that may not even be noticeable to car drivers including:

-Animals: Hitting a small animal can throw a motorcycle off the path or off balance. Unfortunately, live animals that run on the road are difficult to anticipate and swerving to avoid them can cause an accident as well. Large animals, like deer, can be a major hazard in areas with large deer populations and hitting a deer can be fatal to a motorcycle rider.

-Edge breaks: An edge break is when two traffic lanes are different heights. This may not be noticeable if you are driving a car, but can be problematic for unsuspecting motorcyclists, especially when traveling on the freeway at high speeds.

-Expansion joints: Expansion joints connect two sections of a road together, or a section of a road to a bridge. They allow the road to expand or contract without cracking. The uneven surface can cause motorcycle riders to crash.

-Gravel on pavement: Motorcyclists need to be on the lookout for gravel when biking in Indiana. It is particularly troublesome if encountered during cornering. Unfortunately, gravel on pavement tends to be more common on winding roads which require lots of cornering. Accidents caused by gravel go hand in hand with motorcyclists who are going too fast, some of whom do not have the requisite skills to ride a bike in such conditions.

-Railway tracks and crossings: Motorcycle tires can get caught on a railway track, causing a crash. Some railway crossing areas have metal or wood between the tracks, which become extremely slick when wet.

-Road debris: Debris or objects on the road, such as parts of tire treads, things that have fallen from trucks, branches, or rocks, are more hazardous to motorcycles than cars. Not only can they cause a crash, but the object itself can hit and seriously harm the rider.

-Rough roads: Rough and bumpy roads, either from disrepair, construction work, or resurfacing efforts, can cause very serious motorcycle accidents.

-Slick surfaces: Slippery surfaces are much more dangerous for motorcycles than for cars. Slick surfaces are even more dangerous when a biker is turning.

-Standing water: Some motorcycle tires can cause hydroplaning when driving through a puddle of water.

Liability for Indianapolis Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Road Hazards

Whether an injured motorcycle driver or passenger can recover for medical expenses or other losses in an accident depends on many factors. Some of these are:

the type of road hazard;

why the hazard was there;

whether someone should and could have eliminated the hazard; and

the behavior of the motorcyclist and other drivers.

In accidents caused by road hazards, negligent parties might include:

Public entities: The state, county, city, or other public agency that maintains the roadway might have behaved negligently if it should have known about the hazard and could have done something to prevent the problem. Sometimes, prevention is as simple as posting a warning sign or cleaning debris off the road immediately after a storm. Claims of negligence against government entities can be difficult because the agency may have sovereign immunity in such lawsuits. The victim must prove the state agency was notified of the debris but failed to clear it from the road. Additionally, the victim must prove that the debris was the cause of the accident.

-Private individuals or businesses: Other individuals or businesses might also act negligently, perhaps by leaving debris on the road that fell off of a car or truck.

Contact an Indianapolis Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one were involved in a motorcycle accident caused by a road hazard, it is important to speak to an Indianapolis motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. At the Fountain Law Firm, P.C., we have helped many victims obtain the recovery they deserve for their injuries and related losses including lost wages. Lawyer Merry Fountain is an experienced Indianapolis motorcycle accident lawyer who is ready to help you today by meeting in her office or, if you are not able to travel, by meeting in your home. Call Merry Fountain anytime at 1-888-242-HURT (4878) for a free consultation.