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Motorcycle Accidents on Icy Roads

Motorcycle riders in Philadelphia often have to deal with the threat of icy road conditions in the winter. In most cases, riders have no problem negotiating the slick roads but in combination with erratic drivers, it can cause a serious risk of injury. If a driver suddenly crosses paths with a motorcycle on an icy road, hitting the brakes could lead to a crash. 

Black Ice Winter Road Conditions

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), ice on the roads can come from a number of sources, including:

  • Sleet
  • Freezing rain
  • Hail
  • Ice fog
  • Melted water that has frozen

The term “black ice” refers to a very thin layer of ice that is clear enough to see the road beneath, and can seem invisible to a passing glance. Black ice can make the road look wet or shiny when it is actually a slick layer of ice. A layer of ice with melting water on top can be just as dangerous. 

Winter Weather Hazards

Snow roads mean more than just slow traffic, getting to work late, or having to dig out your vehicle. Each year, over 1,300 people are killed in vehicle crashes in snowy, slushy, or icy conditions

Safe Riding in Snowy Conditions

When driving on possible ice, riders should slow down gradually, avoid aggressive braking or steering, double the following distance, and practice defensive driving. Unfortunately for motorcycle riders, drivers in cars and trucks do not always give bikers a safety buffer. 

Some of the threats to motorcycle riders by negligent drivers include distracted driving, not checking side mirrors or blind spots, and opening car doors without watching for approaching traffic. A driver pulled over on the side of the road who suddenly opens their door can cause a motorcycle rider to crash, or lose control in trying to avoid a crash. 

In 2018, 4,985 motorcyclists were killed on the roads in the United States. Even though motorcyclists only represent a portion of vehicles on the road they are overrepresented in fatal accidents. Motorcyclists are about 28 times more likely to die in a traffic crash than people in passenger vehicles. 

When motorcycles are involved in an accident, their injuries tend to be worse than people in a vehicle. Drivers and passengers have a number of safety devices, including airbags and seatbelts. Motorcycle riders generally have a helmet as their main safety barrier. Injuries in a motorcycle accident can include: 

  • Road rash
  • Broken bones
  • Leg injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Back injuries

If the accident was caused by a negligent driver, the injured rider can file a personal injury claim to recover damages caused by the accident. Damages include: 

  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Medical bills
  • Future medical expenses
  • Motorcycle damage
  • Pain and suffering

Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

The personal injury attorneys at the Philadelphia law office of Gilman & Bedigian know how devastating motorcycle accidents can be. Our experienced trial attorneys have helped accident victims deal with their own insurance company, the insurance company of the driver who was at fault, and handle the personal injury lawsuit to get compensation for their injuries. Call Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation.


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