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Motorcycle Accident / 2.26.2024

Who is Responsible for Tank Slap Accidents?

Tank slap, also known as death wobble or speed wobble, occurs when a motorcycle's front wheel begins to shake uncontrollably. This can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle and lead to potential accidents. Death wobble can be a dangerous problem to have but who is responsible for injuries and damages in cases like this?

Litster Frost Injury Lawyers has the answers you need for all your death wobble questions. To speak to one of our experienced personal injury attorneys about your case, give us a call at (208) 333-3366 today. 

Even Experienced Riders Can Be Blindsided by Death Wobble

Regardless of how long you have been riding, you can still be susceptible to the unexpected onset of tank slapping. This phenomenon, characterized by uncontrollable handlebar shaking, can occur suddenly and without warning, catching even the most skilled riders off-guard. 

Losing control of your bike unexpectedly can be a terrifying experience and can lead to major accidents. This is why it is crucial to be vigilant in maintaining your motorcycle and staying up-to-date with defensive driving techniques that can help in these kinds of situations. Riding a motorcycle is inherently more dangerous than riding in a car due to sheer exposure. There is very little between you and the hard road. Sudden death wobble can put you and your loved ones at risk. 

What is a Death Wobble

Death wobble, or tank slap, happens when a motorcycle’s front wheel shakes uncontrollably, typically at high speeds. This can cause drivers to lose control of the handlebars and struggle to steer the bike. While a common problem among riders, the cause of this phenomenon is less well-known. This is because there is not one cause of tank slap–it can be caused by various factors such as:

  • Imbalanced wheel or tire pressure
  • Worn or misaligned steering components
  • Loose or damaged suspension components
  • Improper loading
  • Poor road conditions
  • Sudden swerving

Are Riders Ever At Fault for Tank Slap?

While death wobble can come on unexpectedly, it is avoidable in many cases. This is why it is essential for riders to regularly inspect and maintain their motorcycles. There are often warning signs before the onset of the death wobble and keeping an eye on things like tire pressure, alignment and tightness of steering components, and suspension. 

Additionally, practicing defensive riding techniques can help avoid accidents if you are caught off guard by a sudden death wobble. Things like maintaining a safe speed, and staying alert to road conditions are small adjustments to make but can help keep you safe. 

Can Manufacturers or Service Shops Be Liable for a Tank Slap Accident?

Not all cases of tank slap are due to rider error. Death wobble in motorcycles can sometimes be caused by manufacturer or shop negligence. If a motorcycle is sold with defects or flaws in its design, manufacturing, or assembly that contribute to the occurrence of the death wobble, the manufacturer or seller may be held liable for negligence under product liability laws. Legally, there are three different types of defects that would result in the manufacturer or shop to be held responsible for any damage or injuries due to resulting death wobble. 

Design Defects

These types of defects include flaws in the motorcycle's design that make it prone to malfunction. In this case a design defect can be anything that makes your bike prone to instability or wobbling, such as inadequate steering geometry or insufficient structural reinforcement.

Manufacturing Defects

Manufacturing defects can include any errors or deficiencies in the manufacturing process that result in defects in critical components. In this case this would look like improperly installed steering components or substandard materials used in production.

Failure to Warn

Failure to warn is a major issue in this industry. Neglecting to provide adequate warnings or instructions regarding the risks associated with your motorcycle can lead to accidents that might have been avoidable otherwise. In tank slap cases, this can mean that the manufacturer or seller failed to warn riders about the potential for death wobble under certain conditions or failing to provide guidance on proper maintenance and adjustment of steering and suspension components.

What to Do If You Are in an Accident Due to Death Wobble

If you or a loved one is injured or killed as a result of a death wobble accident, you could be entitled to compensation if you can determine that the accident was caused by manufacturer or seller negligence. It's crucial to consult with a qualified attorney experienced in product liability cases to evaluate the circumstances of the accident and determine the appropriate legal recourse.

Litster Frost Injury Lawyers

Ready to seek justice for your tank slap case? Don't delay–Contact Us Today to schedule your free consultation!

Our experienced team is here to listen to your story, assess your case, and guide you through the legal process. You don't have to face this challenge alone. Reach out to us now and let us fight for the compensation you deserve.

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