When you drive a motorcycle, you have to be extra aware of the hazards that exist on the road. While some of these hazards are easily avoidable, others are not. Hazards that would have very little impact on the driver of an automobile can prove to be fatal to you.
One of the main things that often appears out of nowhere is road debris. When you have an encounter with debris, if you are not careful, you can be badly injured or even killed. The worst part about it is, in the case of an accident it is difficult to prove who is at fault.
What Constitutes Road Debris?
Simply put, road debris is any substance that is on the road outside what is normally found there. This could be materials or objects that have been left by natural or artificial means. Debris could range from simple tire tread to entire cargo loads, and everything in between. Examples include:
- Auto parts
- Glass, metal, bolts, nails, and plastic
- Construction supplies
- Furniture and other household goods
- Cargo loads
- Mud, salt, sand, and rocks
This is just to name a few. Things that may not even register with you as debris if you are driving your automobile, such as leaves, sand, and gravel, may pose a significant risk if you are on your bike.
The Risk Of Debris
While you may be able to see some debris in time to avoid it, other types of debris may be left by the vehicle in front of you, or thrown unexpectedly into your lane.
It has been estimated that the debris causes approximately 25,000 accidents per year. Although these accidents only result in only a few fatalities, your risk of having a fatal accident dramatically increases when you are on your bike.
What Can You Do?
You never want to put yourself at risk when you are on the road. This is especially true when you are on your bike. You do not have the protection that the additional metal shell of a vehicle can afford you. You will want to avoid any type of debris that may cause you to have an accident. You can do this by:
- Knowing your weather conditions before you ride your bike. Rain, snow, ice, or even strong winds, which can place tree limbs in your path, can create a significant risk. While rain can come unexpectedly when you are already out, avoid it if you can.
- Reducing your speed when you are on slippery surfaces, or when you approach debris that is on the road.
- Increasing your following distance to allow you to scan further down the road.
- If you have to make a quick turn to avoid debris in the road, do not panic. An overreaction can just as easily cause an accident as the debris can.
If you are involved in an accident due to the debris on the road, you may wonder exactly whom to blame.
Who Is Responsible?
It is often very difficult to determine who is at fault when you encounter debris. Unless you saw the debris fall from the back of the truck in front of you, being able to prove who left the debris on the road is often impossible.
If it is an environmental factor, it is even harder to prove that you have a case. While you may argue that the county or city should have cleaned the debris up, you first must be able to show that they knew that the debris or hazard existed.
This is a matter in which you must first sort out liability. Who is at fault in the accident will often hinge on who is negligent. Even if your accident is caused by debris that you see fall from the back of the moving truck, it does not necessarily mean that they were negligent in their duty to tie down the materials.
A motorcycle accident attorney will know how to sort this out. If you have been injured due to debris in the roadway, call or navigate to this site to set up an appointment. Once they hear the details of your case, they will know exactly how to help you recover the damages that you deserve.