Motorcycle accidents are often very traumatic and unfortunately can result in catastrophic injury. Without a vehicle to protect the biker from impact, the result from a Michigan motorcycle accident can lead to severe injuries, including road rash, broken bones and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Besides operator error, either by the motorcyclist or another vehicle, road hazards are a common cause of motorcycle accidents. These hazards can include broken up pavement, loose gravel, wet pavement, uneven road surfaces and debris.
Motorcyclists need to watch for these hazards when riding.
Loose gravel on roadway:
As anyone who has recently traveled on our state’s roads understands, roadways throughout the state are in disrepair. The freezing and thawing of winter has created fissures within the roadway itself. This in turn has allowed the cement and road mixture to break away, causing massive potholes and loose gravel on all types of road surfaces.
It is important to watch your speed when traveling on roads that are very loose. There is a strong correlation between accidents caused by loose gravel and bikers traveling too fast for the road condition. It also important to watch your spend when turning on these road surfaces as well.
Slick surfaces are a major issue for motorcyclists who are not taking proper precaution. While a car may be able to navigate through wet pavement or wet leaves without a problem, a biker does not have that luxury. With only two wheels gripping the roadway, along with the lighter weight compared to a car, slick surfaces can easily lead to a crash.
Leaves, painted surfaces, crosswalk lines and oil patches should be taken into account when riding. These things can make the roadway very slippery, especially when wet.
An edge break is when two traffic lanes are different heights. Edge breaks are usually not an issue if you are driving a car, however for bikers they can be problematic. Again, it is important to slow down when encountering edge breaks.
Expansion joints connect two sections of a roadway together. In short, they allow the road to expand or contract without breaking. Given Michigan’s various seasons, expansion joints are prevalent throughout the state.
Railway Tracks and Crossings:
Motorcycle wheels can get caught on railroad tracks and other similar crossings. Some crossings are made of wood, which are especially slippery when wet.
Snow and Ice:
Snow and ice is very dangerous for motorcyclists. Really, bikers should avoid riding if there is snow and ice on the roadway.
Liability for causing these hazards sometimes falls on the governmental agency responsibly for maintaining the roadway, however each situation is different.
Under Michigan law, proper notice must be provided to the correct governmental agency within 120 days of the accident. MCL 691.1404. Notice includes explaining the exact location of the defect, the nature of the defect, any witnesses to the incident and injuries that occurred. Failure to give proper notice can mean forfeiting your right filing a lawsuit and compensation.
As a result, it is important to contact an attorney immediately if you have been injured due to a defective roadway.