With warmer weather upon us and summer just around the corner, it is a perfect time of the year for bicyclists to get out and enjoy the local roads. But if you decide to hop on your bike, be sure to pay special attention to some of the potential dangers – especially road hazards. Bikes, because of their thin tires and since they are fairly unstable, tend to be susceptible to accidents caused by road hazards. Some of the most common hazards are:
Ø Potholes – Usually are caused by either poor repair work done by local municipalities or as a result of long-term wear and tear that has caused the road to crack and become unstable in certain spots.
Ø Sewer grates – Grates that run the same direction as traffic can be very dangerous to cyclists since it is easy for a tire to wedge between them. While many cities and counties have made improvements with the direction the gates run, there still are many dangerous grates on road.
Ø Railroad or trolley tracks – Much like sewer grates, the direction that rails or tracks run is vitally important. If they run in the direction of traffic or if they angle or curve across the roadway, they have the potential to be dangerous to cyclists. Tracks that run perpendicular to the roadway tend to not be as dangerous.
Determining whether a local government or public entity is responsible for injuries caused by a road hazard depends on a number of factors such as how long the hazard existed and what, if any, steps were taken to reduce the danger or warn cyclists of the danger. Suing a governmental entity is a complicated matter, and requires extensive knowledge of the relevant statutes. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a bicycle accident caused by a road hazard, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney like Stuart A. Carpey, Esquire to discuss your situation.