Pavement Defects and Motorcycle Crashes
Motorcycle accidents do not always involve other vehicles. Serious and even fatal single-motorcycle crashes can occur because of poorly designed or poorly engineered roads. Roads are designed to take into consideration the various users who will be accessing it (cars, trucks, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians, for example) so that people have the visibility and information needed to drive safely and see potential dangers in time to respond safely.
Common flaws in poorly designed roads include sharp turns, insufficient shoulders, missing guardrails, inadequate signage that fails to warn of dangers or lane changes, and excessively high speed limits. Even if a road is properly designed, poorly maintained roads are another common cause of motorcycle accidents.
When roads are not taken care of and maintained properly, weather and daily traffic use can wear down the road creating uneven surfaces, bumps or drop-offs, cracks in the road, deep ruts, and potholes. Motorcycles lack the stability of four-wheeled vehicles, which increases the chances that a rider will lose control of the bike after hitting a pothole or deep rut in the pavement. In addition to the road itself, plant overgrowth by the road can block important signage and obscure intersections.
Additionally, construction zones can pose a great danger to motorcyclists as there can be improper signage or a lack of signage warning of and identifying a construction zone. In the midst of a construction zone, there can be more uneven surfaces and drop-offs, loose gravel, and even tools or other objects left in the roadway.
A municipality (like a city or state) can be liable when it fails to correct a known hazard or condition within a reasonable amount of time. Ideally, photographs should be taken of the scene of an accident as soon as possible before a road defect is repaired or corrected. Such information can be invaluable in investigating and winning a case. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident that you think may have been caused by a poorly designed or poorly maintained road, please contact us to discuss your situation with a member of our legal staff.