What a beautiful place to ride Pocatello is. The roads, mountains, trees, countryside all attract many motorcyclists when the weather gets good. But Pocatello has motorcycle accidents every year and some of them are at the fault of other drivers.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, then you know that no amount of money can take away the pain you are experiencing. Financial compensation can, however, take some of the financial stress out of your life by paying for piles of medical bills, lost wages, and the suffering that you experienced after your accident. The attorneys at Litster Frost are dedicated to helping you recover the compensation that you deserve.
Motorcycle Accidents Are Common
Motorcycles have become increasingly popular during the past decade; in 2015, more than 8.6 million motorcycles were registered in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, up from about 6.6 million in 2006.
In Idaho alone, around 66,000 bikes were registered in 2015 – a small fraction of the number of motorcycles registered nationwide. This small number doesn’t mean Idaho’s roads are a lot safer for riders as a result, however. Idaho’s roads are subjected to a large amount of bad weather–especially in the winter months, when icy roads and poor visibility make riding particularly hazardous. When the spring thaw comes around, continual snow plowing combined with damage from layers of corrosive salt can leave pits, potholes and other types of road damage that create hazards for motorcyclists throughout the state.
Motorcycle Accidents: Common Causes
While motorcycle accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, some scenarios are more common than others. Common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
‣ Icy or slick roads: Idaho gets its fair share of ice and snow during the cold months of the year, and with only two wheels on the road surface, motorcyclists are at an increased risk of sliding into another vehicle, another structure, or along the road surface itself. Oil slicks, painted walkways and even loose leaves can create similar slick hazards.
‣ Loose gravel: Gravel and sand on roadways make it difficult to turn and impair your ability to control your motorcycle, especially on winding roadways. Hitting a gravelly area is one of the most common causes of “lay downs” and skids.
‣ Hydroplaning: Skidding and sliding in puddles or other standing water is another common cause of wipeouts and injuries.
‣ Pavement edge breaks and railroad crossings: Edge breaks are common in areas with road construction. At the break, each lane of traffic is at a different height, and though the difference may be slight, with only two wheels on the road, it’s easy for tires to become “stuck,” throwing the motorcyclist off the bike or toppling the bike itself. Expansion joints and railroad crossings are other common areas where cracks in the road can present major hazards for motorcyclists.
‣ Visibility hazards: Overhanging branches and untrimmed vegetation are common problems on rural roads, making it difficult to see the road ahead. On urban roads, obstructed intersections can make it difficult to see oncoming traffic.
‣ Distracted or aggressive driving or poor driving habits of other drivers.
Unfortunately, many motorcycle accidents are caused by other drivers–usually drivers of cars or trucks–who fail to yield, follow too closely, don’t use their turn signals when changing lanes, or simply don’t look before making a lane change. Distracted driving is an increasingly common cause of motorcycle accidents in Idaho and across the country; in fact, other drivers’ errors accounted for nearly half of all fatal crashes in Idaho alone. Because of this, many states have initiated awareness campaigns, like the “Look Twice for Motorcycles” campaign here in Idaho.