Road Hazards and Bicycle Accidents
Bicyclists face a number of dangers on the road from which motorists are protected. For instance, because bicycles offer less protection than passenger vehicles, riders are much more likely to be injured in collisions. Additionally, obstacles that are merely annoying to drivers, such as potholes and slick pavement, can pose a serious risk to bicyclists who are are not shielded from the road by seat belts and airbags. Although it can be more difficult to collect compensation for injuries caused by road-related dangers, it is still possible to recover for the cost of medical expenses and lost wages.
Potholes and Uneven Surfaces
Potholes are some of the most dangerous road hazards that a cyclist can face. The consequences of riding into a pothole are numerous and include everything from spinning out of control to throwing a cyclist into traffic. These accidents can in turn cause serious bruising, broken bones, and severe road rash. If the road is busy at the time of the crash, a bicyclist may even be struck by a passing car. Potholes are usually the result of one of either:
- Improper road repair; or
- Long-term wear and tear.
In these situations, injured parties may be able to collect compensation from the entity responsible for road upkeep.
In general, uneven surfaces pose a greater risk to cyclists than they do to motorists who are protected from the shock of impact. Speed bumps, cobblestones, bricks, and gravel are all dangerous to riders, especially when the uneven nature of the surface is difficult to see. For instance, stray gravel can quickly cause a bicycle’s tires to spin out of control, ejecting the rider from the seat, and causing severe lacerations.
Cyclists also face the additional hurdle of coming into contact with a slick road surface. Painted roadways, for instance, can cause a bicyclist to lose control, especially in areas where the markings are wide, such as pedestrian crossings. These types of slick surfaces are the result of road paint filling in the asphalt’s natural gritty texture, which reduces the tires’ ability to grip the surface. Metal surfaces, such as manhole covers, can also become extremely slick when wet and even slightly tilting a bicycle can cause the wheels to slip. Wet leaves are also notorious for causing bicycle accidents, especially when they are so thick that they completely carpet the surrounding area.
Sewer grates can also become slick after a heavy rain or snowfall. However, these metal grates pose additional problems for cyclists, as thin tires can easily become lodged in the grate itself if the bars are placed in the same direction as traffic. Many cities have begun altering the design of their sewer grates to prevent accidents, but many outdated grates still remain.
Call Today to Speak With a Dedicated Bicycle Accident Attorney
State and city governments are required to ensure that roads are kept in a safe condition. When they fail to do so, they can be held accountable for resulting injuries. However, filing a claim against a government body is notoriously difficult, so if you were involved in a bicycle accident caused by a poor road condition, please contact Boone & Davis in Fort Lauderdale at 954-566-9919 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced bicycle accident attorney.