Bicycle accidents caused by hazards on the road

Road hazards are a common cause of bicycle accidents even for the most experienced riders. The most frequent occurrence caused by hazards on the road is losing control of the bicycle, which can cause cyclists to crash or be propelled into traffic.

The three most common road hazards for cyclists are sewer grates, potholes, and tracks (railroad and trolley).

1. Sewer grates. Cyclists should have the expectation that roadways are safe to travel. Sewer grates constructed of bars going in the same direction as traffic are a dangerous hazard for bicycles. Correcting this type of grate is a relatively inexpensive process, and the municipality responsible could be held liable for not taking these safety measures.

2. Potholes. These are an ongoing road hazard for bicycle riders. One of two situations generally contributes to potholes - maintenance neglect or substandard road repair work. In both situations, government agencies generally have the responsibility for keeping roadway surfaces safe. In the former instance, the presence of a pothole for weeks/months may be considered negligent. For the latter, repair work should be identified by safety cones, signs, or other means of alerting cyclists and motorists.

3. Railroad and trolley tracks. The greatest track hazards for cyclists are those that run with the traffic or have a sharp curve in the roadway. If a cyclist has an accident at one of these types of locations, the question would arise about what the public entity has done to minimize the hazard. For example, are there warning signs or (if the track is no longer in use) have paving measures been taken to improve the safety for cyclists?

Chancey, Kanavos, Love & Painter won the leading case in Tennessee related to the hazards of sewer grates.

Contact our attorneys to discuss the specifics of your bicycle accident.

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