Hazards Motorcyclists Should Avoid on the Road

March 28, 2024
Motorcycle Accidents

As a motorcyclist, it is important to be aware of the potential dangers that can cause catastrophic accidents. South Carolina has plenty of road hazards that present more of a threat to motorcycle riders than people who drive automobiles.

These hazards include unmarked or uncovered manholes and potholes, uneven pavement, gravel or debris on the road, poor maintenance of bridges and overpasses, excessive dust or sand on the roadways, ice and wet roads due to inclement weather, and vehicles pulling out in front of you from driveways or side streets. All of these can increase the risks involved when riding your motorcycle.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a motorcycle accident caused by a road hazard, our team of personal injury attorneys is available to assist.

We can help you build a defense to seek financial compensation for any medical bills and expenses you incurred, particularly if someone else was at fault for the hazard on the road. Call us at (678) 251-9309 to schedule a free consultation.

Common Road Hazards

It is important to exercise awareness and caution while riding a motorcycle on South Carolina roads. When driving a motorcycle in South Carolina, it is important to be cautious as you may encounter various hazardous conditions such as slippery surfaces, uneven surfaces, expansion joints and bridge joints, road debris, properly marked traffic lanes, railroad crossings, and inclement weather.

There are certain circumstances where someone may be responsible for creating hazards on the roads. In these situations, our Decatur motorcycle accident lawyers can potentially build a solid defense for you if you have been involved in an accident caused by the at-fault party.

Slippery Surfaces

Slippery road surfaces can pose a variety of dangerous road hazards to motorcyclists, no matter the source. Oil and chemical spills are some of the most serious, as these can linger on in spots for an extended time.


Additionally, rain and other inclement weather conditions can cause slickness too. A good example of this is hydroplaning – driving at a high speed in the rain which causes one’s tires to lose contact with the ground and significantly reduce friction. 

Uneven Surfaces

Uneven road surfaces can be incredibly dangerous for a motorcycle rider. Even standard motor vehicles can travel over them without loss of control, but a motorcyclist must take much greater caution when maneuvering through uneven surfaces. If any potholes or other hazards are present, they should slow down as much as possible to minimize the chances of an accident or injury.

If they are unable to avoid the hazard, then it is important to remain straight while passing through it and never attempt to speed over it. Unfortunately, accidents caused due to damages brought by an uneven surface are all too common and can involve severe injuries that may require costly treatments.

Expansion Joints and Bridge Joints

Expansion joints and bridge joints are easy to overlook but they play an important role in keeping our roads and bridges safe. They provide flexibility at crucial points on paved structures, allowing for the expansion or shrinkage of concrete with changing temperatures while preventing cracking and other structural damage. Without this critical element, there would be more frequent repairs needed on our roads and bridges.

Learn More: How Much Your Motorcycle Claim is Worth

However, these gaps between sections also pose a unique hazard for motorcyclists, as encountered when traveling over railroad crossings. Significant changes in speed or direction can cause motorcycles to become tightly lodged in the gap between the joint pieces. This is why it’s so important for motorcycle operators to keep their wheels in a straight, perpendicular line until they have fully passed over an expansion joint or bridge joint to reduce the risk of getting stuck.

Road Debris

Road debris is a major cause of bike accidents and fatalities that can occur when riding. It refers to any unwarranted objects on the roads including tree branches, tools, rocks, logs, and boxes that should not be there. When motorcyclists fail to notice these hazardous objects and materials while riding at high speed, it increases their risk of severe injury or death. 

Traffic Lanes

It is essential that motorcyclists never ride between active traffic and parked cars, as it can be a very dangerous maneuver. Not only are cyclists at risk of colliding with the open doors of parked vehicles but they can also be placed in harm’s way if an unaware driver decides to unexpectedly enter or exit the flow of traffic. Therefore, riders should make sure they are always staying in their lane and never riding in between lanes or between moving cars and parked cars. 

Railway Crossings

Railway crossings are one of the commonly overlooked safety hazards when riding a motorcycle.  The greatest risk for a motorcyclist is getting their wheels stuck in the railway tracks. Even the slightest misjudgment can cause serious injury or even death if the rider gets thrown off the bike.


The situation becomes more dangerous if the crossing has wood or timber between rail lines because it worsens road conditions as it becomes wetter, which makes riding even trickier on two-wheeled vehicles than on four-wheeled vehicles. Riders should avoid speeding or taking sharp turns while passing over railway crossings and approach with caution to ensure everyone drives away safely.

Inclement Weather Conditions

Riding a motorcycle can present certain challenges in adverse weather conditions. Motorcycles lack the protection that cars have and riders may be more exposed to the elements. Severe winds can catch riders off balance and cause them to crash.

Similarly, heavy rains can lead to the bike sliding on the road, making it dangerous for both riders and other drivers. It is best practice then to avoid motorcycling in weather that poses too great of a risk, regardless of how experienced you may be as a rider.

Prevention Strategies for Motorcyclists

Motorcycles can pose a higher level of danger compared to cars due to the absence of safety features like seat belts and airbags. Additionally, in the event of an accident, you will probably be ejected from the motorcycle and your body will lack protection.

There are several strategies that motorcyclists can follow to reduce the risk of accidents. Following these safety tips is crucial to help prevent accidents, injuries, or even fatalities.

  • Wear safety gear such as helmets, gloves, and thick jackets and pants
  • Follow Speed Limits 
  • Increase Visibility to Other Drivers/Riders
  • Avoid Blind Spots of Other Vehicles
  • Keep an eye out for potential obstacles
  • Be sure to slow your speed when going around curves and corners
  • Pay close attention to overhead signs indicating road construction work ahead
  • Be prepared for unfavorable weather conditions like rain or snow
  • Give yourself plenty of room to stop safely if needed
  • Always check your blind spots for vehicles
  • Check twice before making left turns
  • Watch out for deer, other animals, or pedestrians suddenly crossing the street

Call an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

If you or someone you know has been involved in a motorcycle accident and requires legal advice, contact Marks Law Group in Decatur, Georgia for a free consultation! If the crash occurred due to the negligence of another party, our auto accident lawyers at Marks Law Groups can thoroughly investigate your accident and help secure the financial compensation you need and deserve.