Brian White | September 5, 2022 | Motorcycle Accidents
Every day, Texas roadways carry residents and visitors across our great state. In fact, Texas has more than 683,000 miles of roadways, with more being built each day. As you are reading this article, there is a high chance you’ve encountered road construction in your daily drives.
Texas state and local agencies are constructing, widening, and resurfacing almost daily. These projects have the potential to create dangerous hazards; the public should have notice of such hazards. The drivers most vulnerable to these roadway dangers are motorcycle riders.
Unfortunately, motorcycle riders are at a higher risk of serious injury or death than individuals operating a standard motor vehicle such as a car or truck.
Hazards that would not pose a great risk to operators of a car or truck can cause a major crash for someone operating a motorcycle. The most common man-made hazard that causes motorcycle accidents in Texas is uneven surface changes due to construction.
A simple sign can alert a motorcyclist of the hazard and possibly save them from life-altering injuries.
The Process of Creating and Maintaining Roadways
In Texas, the Department of Transportation opens bidding to contractors across the state to bid on jobs involving the creation of new roads or the maintenance of existing roadways. The Texas Department of Transportation will provide the contractor who is awarded the job with a set of plans to follow during the course of construction. These plans will cover the project from start to finish.
They will provide the contractor with the steps to follow to complete the job in the safest manner possible.
Contractors will then hire subcontractors to perform certain tasks throughout construction. However, the sub-contractors must follow the plans provided by TXDOT, and the contractor is liable for any deviation on the part of the sub-contractor from the provided plans.
The Texas Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices serves as an outline for contractors to follow to alert motorists of any potential hazards on Texas roadways. This 900+ page manual covers almost any hazard imaginable and provides specific guidelines on how to mitigate risk when a potential hazard arises.
In particular, the TMUTCD provides for specific signage to warn motorcyclists of any surface condition that might adversely affect their ability to maintain control of their motorcycle under wet or dry conditions.
Some of these surface conditions may include loose gravel, rough road, or uneven lanes. These conditions pose a serious threat to the safety of motorcyclists. If these conditions are present on a roadway, notice should be provided for the safety of all.
The Consequences of Uneven Surfaces for Motorcyclists
An uneven surface can cause a motorcyclist to lose control of their motorcycle which can lead to serious injuries for the rider and/or passenger. In the photo below, you will see a surface change of three inches. If you look closely, you can see where rubber has been left on the edge of the surface from vehicles traversing this drop-off.
For example, this photo was taken on State Highway 146 in Baytown, Texas, on the southbound, outside travel lane. This drop-off is a dangerous hazard that has taken the lives of motorcycle riders and sent many to the hospital with debilitating injuries.
A three-inch change in elevation is the difference between motorcyclists making it home safely or suffering serious injuries or death during a crash. Not only should this be remedied, but a warning sign could save the lives of motorcyclists in our community.
The Importance of Signs for Motorcycle Riders
As operators of vehicles on Texas roadways, we have a duty to protect our fellow Texans by operating our vehicles in a safe manner and sharing the roadway with motorcyclists and bicyclists. However, no matter how much we watch out for each other, we can’t always avoid roadway dangers created by construction crews.
These dangers should be remedied, and, at the very least, state and municipal agencies should place a simple sign to alert the most vulnerable operators (motorcyclists and bicyclists) to these hidden dangers.
A single sign can be the difference between a motorcyclist or bicyclist being made aware of and avoiding the hidden or being seriously injured due to the negligence of another.
We have a duty to protect one another on Texas roadways. The law requires each of us to avoid harming one another; the law also holds roadway construction companies accountable when they create a hidden danger through poor workmanship, carelessness, or by skimping on their quality of work to increase their profit margins.
Contact a Houston Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Help with Your Claim
If you’ve crashed your motorcycle due to road defects, you could be entitled to compensation. However, you’ll need help to hold the government agency or roadway construction company accountable. Contact Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim. Our Houston motorcycle accident lawyers will help you explore your options for recovering compensation after your accident.
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers
3120 Southwest Freeway, Suite 350
Houston, TX 77098
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – East Fwy
11811 East Fwy, Suite 630-06
Houston, TX 77029
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – South Loop
2600 S Loop W, Suite 293
Houston, TX 77054
Disclaimer: Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers does not handle pot hole cases. We only handle cases where an individual suffers injuries on a roadway that deviates from the plans or specifications of the state agency or municipality that ordered the construction of the roadway.