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Road Hazards Motorcyclists Should Look Out For

Posted on August 19, 2022 in

Road hazards contribute to many motorcycle accidents in Portland. While debris, uneven surfaces, and other defects may have little impact on a motor vehicle, a motorcycle can easily crash when it encounters these hazards.

While you are riding a motorcycle in Portland, it is important to keep an eye out for common road hazards. Loose gravel, slick surfaces, potholes, and more can lead to devastating and fatal injuries. 

Slippery Surfaces

Street surfaces can become slippery due to rain, ice, mud, and snow, as well as oil spills and other hazards on the road. While wet conditions can pose a risk to cars as well, motorcyclists can easily lose control of their bikes when they encounter slick surfaces.

Avoid riding a motorcycle in wet or slippery conditions as often as possible. If you need to ride in wet weather, drive as slowly as possible. Be especially careful when driving after a dry spell; the first rain can cause oil and other slick materials to rise to the surface of the road, making the street extra slick.

Loose Gravel, Sand, and Other Debris

Loose debris on the road can cause a motorcycle to spin out of control. It is important to keep an eye out for gravel, sand, and other debris that could cause an uneven road surface. If you encounter a hazard, reduce your speed and try to find a way around the hazard.

Potholes

Potholes are a major problem in several cities, including Portland. These holes develop when the road erodes to a point where a sizable depression develops. These deep cavities are formed in the road due to natural erosion as well as wear and tear. While a car can drive over most potholes without an issue, a two-wheeled motorcycle can become stuck or thrown off balance.

It is easy for a pothole to throw a two-wheeled motorcycle off balance. If you encounter a pothole, avoid driving directly over the pothole at a regular speed. Make sure to slow down and safely avoid it to the best of your ability.

Rough and Uneven Roads

Uneven road surfaces are another major hazard for motorcyclists. Cracks in the pavement can cause a normally flat road to become uneven. Events like roadway construction and maintenance can also lead to uneven surfaces, as does normal wear and tear. As a motorcyclist, it is important to keep an eye out for uneven surfaces and proceed carefully when you encounter a rough patch.

Roads and bumpy roads can occur due to construction debris, poor construction, and poor maintenance and upkeep. Uneven surfaces can cause serious motorcycle accidents, so these roads can be extremely dangerous for motorcyclists. Avoid riding on rough and uneven surfaces as often as possible; try to find a safer alternative route.

Expansion and Open Bridge Joints

On the road, you may encounter expansion joints, which hold two sections of a road together or connect a bridge to a road. You may also encounter an open bridge joint, which connects sections of a bridge. These joints can make the surface of the road uneven, posing a serious risk to motorcyclists. If you encounter these hazards, be alert and try to navigate around them. 

Edge Breaks, Bridge Joints, and Railroad Tracks

Breaks and joints on the road can also lead to an uneven surface for motorcyclists, leading to serious accidents. Below are some of the most common:

  • Edge Breaks: These breaks occur when two traffic lanes are at different heights, often found on freeways. The sudden change in height can cause a motorcyclist to crash.
  • Expansion Joints: These joints are used to connect two sections of a road or to connect a road to a bridge. Like edge breaks, these joints can create bumps that can cause an accident.
  • Open Bridge Joints: These joints are used to hold sections of a bridge together. Open bridge joints are often very wide and difficult to navigate.

Railroad Tracks: Railroad tracks and crossings can be difficult for motorcyclists to cross, containing many crevices that are easy to get stuck in.

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Speak to an Attorney

Government agencies have a responsibility to ensure that Portland roads are safe and free from defects. If you are injured by a road hazard, you have the right to pursue financial compensation by filing a claim against the appropriate agency. However, claims against the government follow a different set of rules than other injury claims.

In these situations, it is important to consult with an attorney. Your lawyer will have significant experience representing plaintiffs in cases against the government and will work tirelessly to secure the compensation that you deserve. As soon as possible following the accident, contact a Portland motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.