When people think of the dangers that motorcycle riders and cyclists face on the roads, they turn to car and truck drivers. Even though other motorists can seriously injure motorcycle riders and cyclists, they do not have the potential to cause nearly as much injury to motorcycle and bike riders as defective roadways.
In fact, defective roadways are more of a serious risk to motorcycle and bike riders than other motorists. Both motorcyclists and cyclists travel on roadways where the conditions may be unknown, and that uncertainty can cause motorcycle accidents or bike accidents.
How do roadway defects happen?
A roadway can be defective when it possesses one or several hazards. Roadway hazards can be caused by various scenarios, including:
Construction zones can cause serious road defects when poorly operated or designed. The negligence of construction workers or companies can put the safety of motorcycle and bike riders in jeopardy. Even something as simple as lighting can affect whether a motorcycle and bike rider will be able to notice any upcoming hazards.
Different weather conditions can create several types of hazards for motorcycle and bike riders. Rain, snow, and ice can cause the roads to become very slippery. Stormy weather can cast certain types of debris around the roads like tree limbs that can damage the motorcycle or bike wheels, causing it to go out of control.
Different types of road defects
Poorly maintained construction zones or severe weather conditions can cause several types of road defects and hazards. Some of the most dangerous road defects for motorcycle and bike riders are potholes, uneven pavement, missing road signs, and more.
Potholes are one of the most destructive road defects that any motor vehicle can come across. When motorcycle and bike riders come in contact with potholes, they can become seriously injured. Motorcycle and bike riders are already at a disadvantage due to the lack of additional structure around their bikes. Driving over a pothole can cause riders to lose control of their vehicles and be ejected from their bikes.
When the roads are not even or flat, it can be extremely difficult for motorists to maintain control of their vehicles. This is definitely true for motorcycle and bike riders. The motorcycle and bike tires can suffer serious damage after traveling on uneven road surfaces. Uneven pavement can result in several hazards, like large cracks in the road. The longer the pavement remains uneven, the worse the dangers become.
Missing road signs
Another type of road defect that puts motorists in danger is missing road signs. These are road defects that motorcycle and bike riders do not notice until it is too late. Road signs and markings are important, as they give other motorists direction. When certain road signs and markings are missing, it presents confusion for motorcycle and bike riders. If construction sites are missing the proper signs, for example, motorcycle and bike riders will fail to notice upcoming road changes and take the proper precautions. They may continue to travel through a construction zone at a regular speed and come across a pothole or another road hazard.
Water pooling is a dangerous road defect where a collection of water gathers on roads. Even though roads are supposed to have a flat surface, water pooling can happen with road defects like potholes and uneven pavement. Motorcycle and bike riders who travel on roads with extremely wet surfaces can easily lose control of their bikes.
Common injuries caused by defective road conditions
Road defects can cause motorcycle and bike riders to suffer serious injuries like:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
- Broken bones
- Crushed limbs
- Road rash
- Back and neck injuries
Liability for accidents caused by road defects
When you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle or bike accident caused by a road defect, there are several potential parties who you may hold liable for your injuries.
Construction companies can be held liable for your motorcycle or bike accident. The negligent actions of construction workers can cause serious road defects like potholes, uneven pavement, or poorly marked signs. Construction companies can be held liable for the irresponsible actions of their workers who fail to properly maintain the safety of a work zone area.
Another entity that can be held liable for road defect accidents are state government agencies. Government agencies have a legal obligation to maintain the safety of the roadways. Even if road hazards stem from certain weather conditions, government agencies have a responsibility to remove that road hazard as soon as possible. When road hazards remain dangerous for long periods of time, that is an act of negligence on the part of government agencies. Road hazards like uneven pavement and potholes are some of the dangers that must be repaired or mitigated immediately. Another form of negligence is deliberately ignoring multiple requests from citizens to remove road hazards.
How a St. Louis motorcycle accident attorney can help
When you are filing a lawsuit against a government agency or a construction company, these entities are armed with insurance companies who are ready to blame you for the injuries that you have endured. Before battling these types of entities, you should seek the help of a St. Louis motorcycle accident attorney. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney is familiar with how insurance companies rely on the negative biases of motorcycle riders to avoid liability. A motorcycle accident attorney can fight on your behalf to gather the necessary evidence that can prove the negligence of a government agency or construction company.
At The Hayden Law Firm, our St. Louis personal injury lawyers pride ourselves on putting our clients first. We use our attention to detail and unique client-focused approach to help get the results that you need to fully recover from your injuries and accident. Call our offices at 314-480-3100, or submit our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We proudly serve clients in St. Louis and all throughout Illinois.
Attorney Amanda L. Hayden has dedicated her legal career to fearlessly advocating for clients and their families after their lives have been devastated by the careless and/or reckless conduct of others.
Read more about Amanda L. Hayden