Changes in road surfaces rarely create a risk of injury for the countless drivers who pass over them daily.
Unfortunately, a road defect creates a risk of injuring bicyclists.
Read on to learn more about road defects that pose risks to bicyclists and the severe injuries they can cause.
It’s important to remember that when you suffer injuries due to road defects, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm.
Common Road Defects That Injure Bicyclists
While biking, it’s essential to remain aware of cars and common road defects. You may not think twice when encountering these defects while walking or driving.
However, they can cause severe injury if you are riding a bicycle.
Potholes occur when the road surface breaks or when temporary road repairs sink or crack.
This type of road defect creates a severe risk of injuring bicyclists when they hit potholes at high speeds, causing cyclists to lose control of their bikes.
You can avoid an accident by keeping an eye out for potholes and navigating around them.
Broken Drainage Grates
Drainage grates pose a serious threat to bicyclists because bicycle wheels can get caught between the grate bars.
Some grates may be placed with their bars facing the same direction as traffic, making it more likely a bicycle wheel will get stuck.
When bicycle wheels become stuck in the grates, the momentum can throw a cyclist over the handlebars.
Railroad tracks also pose a serious hazard to cyclists, especially when the rails run parallel to traffic or cross the road at a curve or angle.
Bike wheels may become stuck in the space between the roadway and the rail, causing a cyclist to be thrown into the street or into traffic.
When riding by railroad tracks, bicyclists should try to cross them at a perpendicular angle to avoid getting their tires stuck in the grooves.
Leaves may not seem like a dangerous hazard to pedestrians or drivers, but they can be dangerous for bicyclists.
Piles of leaves may gather along roadways due to wind, especially during the fall and winter seasons.
When these leaves get wet, they become extremely slippery and cause bicycle tires to lose their traction and slide.
Piles of leaves can also mask other dangers, such as potholes or debris. When biking through leaves, slow down and avoid any turns to limit your risk of slipping.
Maintenance hole covers and steel plates become incredibly slippery when wet.
Unfortunately, you often encounter this particular road defect on busy city streets, further enhancing the danger.
When riding over wet metal with your bicycle, be sure to cross with your bike completely upright and without leaning to either side, as even a slight angle to your bicycle may cause you to slip.
Different road surfaces like cobblestones, bricks, and gravel are treacherous to bicyclists, especially those riding road bikes with skinny tires.
When you encounter uneven surfaces, slow down and navigate across the area slowly.
Common Injuries Suffered by Bicyclists
Bicyclists injured by road defects can suffer different types of injuries that vary in severity.
The most common injuries bicyclists suffer are road rash, lacerations, and strains. While rarely serious, these injuries may create issues if they cause an infection.
More serious bicycle accident injuries include the following:
- Skull fractures,
- Intracranial hemorrhage,
- Brain contusions,
- Facial fractures,
- Dental fractures,
- Traumatic hernias, and
- Pelvic fractures.
Almost all of these injuries require months of recovery. Some of these injuries may even cause permanent disability or chronic pain.
If you suffered injuries due to road defects, contact a bike accident injury attorney to discuss your options for seeking compensatory relief.
With over 30 years of experience, Chuck Geerhart has successfully represented clients in all types of personal injury cases.
Bicyclists injured by road defects may understandably feel overwhelmed and angry about their situation. You should know there is hope.
At the Law Office of Chuck Geerhart, we approach every case with compassion and a steadfast desire to help you recover from your losses.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to find out how Chuck Geerhart can help you.