Common Road Hazards for Motorcycles

Road Hazards

Road hazards that are minor irritations for someone in a car can be a major hazard for a motorcyclist. In 2019, approximately 39.87% of motorcycle accidents did not involve another vehicle. Knowing what elements pose a risk, anticipating trouble, and practicing avoidance methods are important motorcycling skills. Always scan ahead for any dangers and follow other vehicles at a safe distance in order to have sufficient time to react.

The Road itself is often a source of consternation for motorcyclists, especially in Ohio. Uneven surfaces and other defects may cause serious injury. Keep your eyes out for:

  • Rough roads – potholes, ruts, and general disrepair can contribute to a crash
  • Loose gravel
  • Unmarked or missing shoulders
  • Uneven lane heights (edge breaks)

Slippery surfaces are even more dangerous when turning. Avoid:

  • Standing water
  • Oil slicks or other chemicals
  • Painted crosswalks
  • Wet leaves

Poorly marked hazards are especially dangerous because the motorcyclist is often required to react very quickly.

  • Intersections
  • Hidden drives
  • Railroad crossings
  • Work zones

Construction zones can be unpredictable and pose a multitude of risks.

  • Equipment left on the road
  • Dirt, gravel, sand, or other materials can easily cause you to take a spill
  • Improperly cured asphalt
  • Loose metal plates
  • Irregular road surfaces

Other vehicles are an obvious hazard, but also be aware of:

  • Tire treads from a semi blowout
  • Gravel flying off of a truck
  • Slow-moving vehicles, such as farm equipment or Amish buggies, can be especially dangerous if encountered as you rapidly crest a hill or around a corner

Animals are difficult to avoid because their movements are erratic

  • Deer – if you see one, slow down — there are probably more
  • Small animals – hitting (or even swerving to avoid) little critters can cause you to lose control

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