6 Common Road Hazards That Cause Motorcycle Accidents

Being Aware of These Road Hazards May Save You From an Accident

You hope that you will never have to contact an attorney, but you never know when you may be faced with a roadblock that’ll be difficult to surmount without crashing. Due to their compact frame and the exposed nature of their riders, motorcycle accidents can be brutal. 

In 2017, 5,172 motorcycle riders were killed in crashes, and these fatalities have more than doubled since 1997.

That’s why the road hazard accident lawyers in Los Angeles of Gutierrez Law have compiled a list below of a few of the most common road hazards that motorcyclists face. While we are the best cyclist accident attorney to win compensation for you following an accident, we hope that you can avoid one before it happens, thus saving you the pain and suffering. 

While you’re normally looking out for other cars on the street, you may get tripped up by these road hazards.


When passing over a sudden dip, a motorcycle can be thrown off balance, if its wheel hasn’t already caught on the sharp edge. Potholes can be hazardous to cars, but motorcyclists are three times more likely to crash after riding over potholes and poor road surfaces. 

For this reason, you should try your best to swerve around potholes when you have the time and road space to do so. If you are riding through a familiar area, you can do your best to avoid streets riddled with potholes.

Gravel, Dirt, and Other Rough Surfaces

In a well-traveled city like L.A., potholes, in addition to other cracks and rough surfaces, are common on the streets. 

Gravel and other textured surfaces are especially difficult for motorcycles to ride over. When riding over gravel, it’s important not to do any sudden actions, like braking, accelerating, or swerving, as these can make your bike lose its grip on the road.  

Especially late at night, it can be difficult to see these hazards until it's too late to react. Pay attention to the headlights in front of you, and if you see them bouncing or swerving, then it’s likely you are about to run into some rough pavement. 

Slick Roads 

Slippery roads can be dangerous to motorcycle riders, especially if they are turning. Slick roads can be caused by oil spills, metal road covers used to cover construction, and rubberized asphalt sealer used for crack repair offer little traction, which can cause a bike to skid. 

Make sure to keep an eye out for these slick surfaces:

  • Oil patches
  • Painted Surfaces
  • Leaves 
  • Crosswalk Lines 
  • Trolley Tracks


Animals that wander into the road can also cause chaos for motorcycle riders. Whether it's roadkill or an alive, aggressive animal, both can be detrimental to an unsuspecting rider. 

A large animal like a deer wandering into the road is dangerous even for cars, but motorcyclists must know that smaller creatures like rabbits and raccoons also pose a threat. Colliding with a small animal can throw a motorcycle off-balance. Unfortunately, animals can come out of nowhere, giving you little time to react. If you’re going at a high speed, it’s unlikely that you’ll have time to skid to a stop, and swerving to avoid hitting it can cause a crash, as well.

When dogs see a motorcycle zooming by, their predatory instincts can often kick in, causing them to chase you down as if you were their prey. In the event that a dog is chasing you, do not stop because it may pull you from your bike. Instead, you should try to outrun it, and you should carry mace in the event that you do get pulled off by an aggressive dog. 


Not only do poor weather conditions cause limited visibility, water on the road can make it slick, causing a rider to lose control of their motorcycle. Dust, dirt, and motor oil that usually sit on the road can mix with water to form a slippery layer. Standing water can also cause a wheeled vehicle to hydroplane. 

Debris or Objects in the Road

You’ve probably seen litter strewn across the highway while riding. Debris or other objects in your way, such as parts of tires, branches, or rocks, are much more dangerous to motorcycles than cars. While swerving around them can cause an accident, colliding with the object can seriously harm the rider.

In the Event That You Are Injured in a Crash

U.S. roadways still have a ways to go before motorcyclists are equally protected as cars. Many objects that would not even phase a driver can prove deadly to someone on a motorcycle.

In the event that you are in a single-car crash due to one of the above road hazards, make sure to reach out to a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer like Gutierrez Law. Our legal team has experience in dealing with motorcycle crashes, whether or not a second party was involved. Working with a lawyer for cyclist-related injuries can ensure that you get compensation for any bodily injury or property damage resulting from your collision.