According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, road debris causes about 25,000 motor vehicle accidents each year. While this represents only a small percent of the total accidents in the U.S., road debris can be especially dangerous to motorcyclists. Gravel, leaves and other objects that are just a nuisance to a car can cause a motorcycle to spin out of control. When a large object forces a motorcyclist into another lane, the motorcyclist has no protection from other vehicles. Unfortunately, road debris accidents involving motorcycles often result in serious injuries and even death.
Here are ten common types of road debris that can cause a motorcycle wreck:
- Trees or branches – Trees and tree parts are a common type of road debris. Tree branches can often be found littering the road after a strong storm.
- Tires – When a tire blows, pieces of it are left in the road. These pieces of tire can be very slippery. They can also cause car drivers to swerve or merge to avoid running over the debris. If they aren’t watching for motorcyclists, the results can be tragic.
- Hay bales – Much of Georgia is rural. Farm trucks are used to haul hay from farm to farm. If a large bale falls off the truck, it can cause serious damage. These bales can weigh several hundred pounds. Loose hay is also a danger as it can reduce traction.
- Car parts – Older vehicles may lose parts as they travel on the highway. There is also a danger of encountering car parts after an accident.
- Light poles – Storms and car crashes can cause light poles to fall into the street. These are especially dangerous when there are live wires.
- Signs – Storms and car wrecks can also push traffic signs into the road. The sharp edges can damage tires and cause a vehicle to spin out of control.
- Construction barrels – Contractors use orange cones and barrels to mark off construction zones. A construction barrel that is knocked on its side can easily roll into traffic and become a dangerous obstacle.
- Metal debris – Sheet metal, furniture, appliances, and other objects are often damaged when they fall off vehicles. Even if the driver picks up the object, there may still be small pieces strewn around. A simple loose screw can pierce a tire and cause significant damage.
- Truck cargo – Truck drivers are responsible for securing their cargo and driving in a way that keeps the cargo of the road. When cargo falls off a truck, it can cause a hazard for motorcyclists.
- Miscellaneous trash – Littering is illegal, but some drivers still throw trash out the window.
When you are riding a motorcycle, it is important that you stay alert and watch for road debris. However, not all motorcycle accidents can be avoided. If you are injured in a motorcycle crash caused by road debris, you will need an Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer on your side. To learn how we can help you, contact Kaufman Law and ask to schedule a free consultation.