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Motorcycle Accidents Caused By Road Debris


Going for a ride on a motorcycle can be a fun and relaxing experience—that is, until you hit road debris. You may think nothing about hitting some sticks or leaves, but road debris can lead to serious motorcycle accidents. From 2011 to 2014, road debris caused more than 200,000 crashes, leading to 500 deaths.

Road debris is very dangerous for motorcycles. Even if the debris is from nature, like leaves and sticks, it can be dangerous. However, road debris often comes from items falling off vehicles, and are avoidable for the most part. These unsecured loads may include large items such as appliances and furniture. In some cases, the items are caused by poor maintenance and include tires and wheels detaching from a vehicle.

Crashes caused by road debris are most likely to occur on highways in the late mornings and afternoons. Many times, motorcycle riders are killed when they try to avoid the objects in the road.

Determining Liability

So what happens when you hit road debris while on your motorcycle? Who pays the bill? It depends on the situation.

For example, if you are behind a truck that is hauling an unsecured load and the item falls in front of you, causing you to crash, then you are not at fault. The truck driver would be held liable and their auto insurance would cover your damages. However, in most cases, the driver will be unaware of what happened and therefore won’t stop. This means you’ll need to gather as much information as you can about the vehicle so you can file a claim.

However, if the debris was left by an unknown source, then determining liability will be more difficult. Unless you can accurately pinpoint how the debris got in the road, then you’ll likely have to use your own auto insurance to pay for any damages.

But what if the debris was left in the road by a landscaping company? Maybe they just dumped a pile of grass clippings in the road. If the debris leads to a motorcycle crash, then the company would be considered negligent. Their insurance company  would be on the hook for your damages.

Preventing Road Debris Accidents

Here are some tips to avoid accidents caused by road debris while riding your motorcycle:

  • Scan the road ahead to anticipate any road hazards.
  • Increase the distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Reduce your speed if you are about to make contact with something in the road
  • Be aware of animals in the road at dusk and night.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer 

Motorcycle accidents can be caused in a variety of ways. Road debris that would not impact a passenger vehicle can cause serious damage to a motorcycle and even cause injuries or death to a rider.

If you were injured in a motorcycle crash caused by road debris, seek legal help from the Houston motorcycle accident attorneys at The West Law Office, PLLC. Determining liability in these situations can be complex. Fill out the online form or call 281-347-3247 to schedule a consultation.


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