Hidden Dangers of Road Defects & Water Pooling for Motorcyclists

Hidden Dangers of Road Defects & Water Pooling for Motorcyclists

A Rainy Ride: Johnny’s Harrowing Encounter with Road Defects

Johnny, a devoted biker from Iowa, loves the open road. With two decades of experience on two wheels, he’s an experienced rider. Biking for John isn’t just a hobby—it’s his way of life, his passion, his freedom.

Preparing for the Romper Room Rally, John set out on one of his usual rides across the State on a warm summer day in 2022. The forecast promised nothing but clear skies, and the weather was perfect. Donning his helmet and revving his engine, he felt the familiar rush of adrenaline as he set out onto the open road.

Black and white image of a man riding a motorcycle in a rain storm

Dark clouds loomed in the distance as he made his way down the winding rural roads he knew so well. He thought about pulling over to let the storm pass. Confident in his riding abilities from years of navigating Iowa’s unpredictable weather, John decided to push on, figuring he could beat the storm.

He had ridden safely in rain more times than he could count, and this time, he believed, wouldn’t be any different.

Unfortunately, he couldn’t outrun the storm.

A man riding a motorcycle in a severe thunderstorm

A sudden, intense downpour began, reducing visibility and making the road slick.

As he cautiously navigated a turn, his headlight illuminated a large, water-filled pothole directly in his path. The sudden obstacle left him little room to maneuver, despite his quick reactions and years of experience.

His bike hit the pothole, throwing him off balance and causing him to skid across the slick road.

An image of a man lying in a hospital bed with dramatic lighting

John learned later in the hospital that he had suffered multiple injuries, including a broken leg. The medical bills started piling up during his long and painful recovery.

He was devastated. Sitting in the hospital bed, he remembered something important—this accident wasn’t just bad luck. It was the result of poor road conditions that should have been addressed.

Introduction

Water pooling on the roadways and other road defects might seem like minor inconveniences to drivers of larger automobiles, but they can pose significant dangers to motorcyclists. They can induce loss of control or cause a dangerous imbalance, especially if the water is deep enough to affect the rotation or angle of the motorcycle wheels.

close-up image of a motorcycle riding through a body of water on a wet road

Even shallow water can reduce tire traction, potentially causing skids and accidents. These hazardous conditions should not exist on our roadways, as entities responsible for road maintenance are tasked with ensuring their safety.

The Risk of Water Pooling on Roadways

Under ideal conditions, water should never be allowed to pool on the roadways.

But due to various factors, this issue can occur, putting motorcyclists at an elevated risk of serious injury.

Some of these factors include:

  • Large potholes that collect water
  • Poorly engineered roadways resulting in low-lying areas susceptible to flooding
  • Inadequate preparation for inclement weather

Let’s take a deeper look at each of these.

Large Potholes That Collect Water

Image of a severely damaged roadway with cracks and potholes

Potholes form due to a combination of water, weather, and wear and tear. When water seeps into cracks in the pavement, it can erode the road base. This issue is often made worse by cold weather conditions, as the water can freeze, expand, and cause the asphalt to crack.

Over time, repeated freeze-thaw cycles and the impact of vehicles passing over the weakened area can create large potholes.

When these potholes collect water, they become especially dangerous for motorcyclists. The water can obscure the depth and size of the pothole, making it more likely that motorcyclists will hit them unknowingly.

A sudden encounter with a pothole can cause a motorcyclist to lose control, leading to serious accidents.

Poorly Engineered Roadways Resulting in Low-Lying Areas Susceptible to Flooding

Meme showing two images. The first of a road half covered in water and the other of a road made of water.

“What the road looks like to you vs. what the road feels like to your motorcycle.”

Poorly engineered or constructed roadways can create low-lying areas that collect water. These can occur due to improper road grading, inadequate drainage, or a lack of maintenance.

Water naturally moves to the lowest point due to gravity, so any depressions or dips in the road will collect water, especially during heavy rain.

These low-lying areas are hazardous for motorcyclists as they can lead to hydroplaning, where a layer of water comes between the road and the tire, reducing traction and control.

Additionally, if these areas are large or deep enough, they can result in a motorcyclist hitting a body of water at speed, leading to potential loss of control and accidents.

Inadequate Preparation for Inclement Weather

Image of a motorcycle riding through deep water on a roadway

Inadequate preparation for inclement weather, such as not properly clearing drainage channels or failing to maintain the road surface, can result in water pooling on the roads. Rain, snow, and other forms of precipitation can quickly overwhelm under-maintained drainage systems, leading to standing water on the roadways.

This standing water poses significant risks to motorcyclists. In addition to the issues mentioned above like hydroplaning and obscured road defects, heavy rain can reduce visibility, making it harder for motorcyclists to see and avoid water hazards. In extreme cases, water can even cause a motorcycle’s engine to stall if it gets too deep.

Each of these issues represents a clear danger to motorcyclists, reinforcing the importance of maintaining and properly engineering our roadways.

Recovering Damages

At The Biker Lawyers, our legal team understands the dangers posed by these conditions and is committed to helping motorcyclists recover damages if they suffer accidents due to water pooling on roadways. One question we’ve been asked is who do you hold responsible if you have been injured as a result of roadway defects?

“But you can’t sue the Government… can you?”

Image of a lady justice statue holding scales in a thunderstorm

It is true that the government is immune from many types of roadway liability. Many of the types of roadway issues we have been discussing, however, are caused by private contractors hired by the government. To the extent your crash was caused by the inadequate work of a private contractor, your chances of recovery are much better than if the government is responsible.

However, successfully bringing a claim against these entities can be complex.

Government entities often have certain immunities or protections from lawsuits, and proving liability can involve demonstrating negligence in the maintenance of the road or failure to adequately address a known problem.

Documentation of the condition of the road, witness testimony, accident reports, and other forms of evidence can all play a crucial role in these cases.

Also, timeframes known as “statutes of limitations” often apply to these claims, meaning there’s a limited period after the accident during which a lawsuit can be filed.

Given these complexities, we highly suggest you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can navigate these legal challenges.

Your Legal Recourse

If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident caused by hitting pooled water on the roadway, you need to understand your legal rights and evaluate if you have a solid case.

We know how you feel. The responsible parties must be held accountable. The problem is that each case is unique and present their own challenges to consider. Once we evaluate your case, our road defect attorneys at The Biker Lawyers can help let you know your options. That may include sitting down to develop a legal strategy aimed at helping you recover damages associated with your injuries.

Discussing the specifics of your accident with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers can be the first step toward ensuring justice and fair compensation.

To set up a consultation, call our offices at (877) 209-9452 or click here for a free case evaluation.

So whatever happened to John?

Image of the aftermath of a motorcycle crash on a rain-covered highway

John decided to fight.

With the help of the Biker Lawyers, he was able to pursue a case against those responsible for the road’s upkeep. It was a tough battle, but his determination and the skilled advocacy of his attorneys gave him hope.

John’s story serves as a stark reminder of the real-life consequences of ignored road defects and the importance of holding those responsible accountable.

Don’t Let Water Pooling Injuries Sink You

Injuries sustained from motorcycle accidents due to water pooling can result in substantial medical bills, making you feel like you’re drowning in debt.

Don’t navigate these choppy waters alone. Contact The Biker Lawyers today, and let us help you stay afloat.

What are Water Pooling & Road Defects?

What are Water Pooling & Road Defects?

What are Water Pooling & Road Defects?

Posted on June 16, 2020 at 3:19 PM by The Biker Lawyers

Though pools of water on the roadway pose little threat to the drivers of larger automobiles, they can cause motorcyclists to lose control. If the water is deep enough, for instance, the rotation of one of the motorcycle wheels may slow, causing a dangerous imbalance between the two wheels.

However, even water that is shallow may cause the motorcyclist’s tires to lose traction and skid into an accident. In any case, the entities responsible for maintaining the safety of roadways are also responsible for preventing these conditions from ever existing.

Allowing Water to Pool on the Road

Under normal circumstances, water should never be allowed to pool on the roadway. When the following conditions are allowed to exist, however, motorcyclists are at an elevated risk of sustaining serious injuries in the event of an accident:

  • Large potholes that collect water
  • Poorly engineered roadways that create low-lying areas susceptible to flooding
  • Inadequate preparation for inclement weather

Our legal team  will do everything they possibly can to help you recover the damages you sustained in your accident.

Consult with Biker Lawyers Pete or Dan

If you were involved in an accident after hitting water that was pooled on the roadway, you should consult with a road defect attorney with The Biker Lawyers to begin developing a legal strategy intended to help you recover the damages associated with your injuries. To discuss the particulars of your accident with one of our personal injury lawyers, please call our offices at (877) 209-9452 today.

 

Water pooling injury got you drowning in medical bills? Contact us now.

 

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