Road Conditions That Can Lead To Serious Motorcycle Accidents

December 24, 2022 Posted In Motorcycle Accidents

In some cases, dangerous road conditions are to blame for serious motorcycle accidents. As a result, determining fault can be more complex than in other collisions. 

Road Conditions That Can Lead To Serious Motorcycle Accidents

Common Road Conditions That Lead to Motorcycle Accidents

Here are some of the most common dangerous conditions that cause motorcycle crashes:

  • Debris on the road.
  • Large cracks in the road.
  • Lack of guardrails or dividers.
  • Faded lines marking lanes, road borders, or intersections.
  • Poor lighting on roads and at intersections.
  • Pavement defects (e.g., potholes, uneven pavement, resurfaced pavement, and grooved pavement).
  • Poorly designed intersections.
  • Lane shifts and turn lanes without visible signs or markings.
  • Sand or loose gravel on the pavement.

Hazardous weather (e.g., flooding, severe storms, etc.) is often a contributing factor, but in these circumstances, another party may not be liable unless another driver is involved in the accident. 

Who Is Responsible For Poorly Maintained Roads?

State governments and local agencies maintain most roads. For example, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is responsible for maintaining state highways and the County of Riverside’s Transportation Department maintains 2,200 miles of roads within the unincorporated areas of Riverside County. Therefore, if Caltrans or The Transportation Department fails to do so properly, resulting in an accident, those agencies may be liable for damages. However, in some situations, it is also possible that a private contractor or other entities may be liable or jointly responsible for failure to maintain the road. As a result, these cases often require a thorough investigation to determine whether multiple parties must be held accountable for contributing to the collision. 

Can Local or State Governments Be Held Responsible?

Local and state government authorities are often immune from civil liability. However, sovereign immunity is waived for injured motorcyclists when it comes to motorcycle accidents caused by preventable dangerous road conditions. As long as the crash was caused by a government employee or agency’s negligence, you have the right to file a claim against the government agency responsible for maintaining the area where the accident occurred. An injury claim against the state government must be filed within six months of the injury. You have another six months to file a lawsuit if your claim is rejected. 

Safety Tips

Here are some safety tips to help reduce the chances of a motorcycle accident or injury caused by road conditions. For example:

  • Wear a helmet. If you are involved in an unavoidable motorcycle accident, wearing a helmet can save your life. 
  • Be observant. Remain extra vigilant and don’t expect other motorists to see you on the road.  
  • Stay sober. Riding while intoxicated significantly increases the chance of an accident. By impairing your senses, judgment, and decision-making ability, riding while intoxicated can prevent you from seeing dangerous road conditions until it is too late. 
  • Avoid fatigue. Fatigued riders face many of the same dangers as when intoxicated. Fatigue can dramatically slow reaction time which could prevent a crash. 
  • Take a safety course. Even if you feel you are an experienced rider, a refresher safety course could remind you of some best practices worth following.

If you or a loved one has been severely injured in a motorcycle accident caused by dangerous road conditions, arrange a free consultation with a Riverside Motorcycle Accident Attorney today. 

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