Grass may seem a harmless obstacle for the majority of vehicles on roads. Cars and trucks have little to no issues passing over a pile of grass laying on the street. But what about motorcycles?
Motorcyclists are always on the lookout for dangerous road interferences such as oil slicks, frozen puddles, rocks, and potholes. Unlike automobile drivers, bikers don’t have the car’s body as an additional layer of protection in case of accidents.
Unfortunately, a lot of people are unaware of the potential risks a clump of moist grass can present when left on a roadway. So you may ask: “Do grass clippings cause motorcycle accidents?” To the surprise of many, the answer is yes.
Are Grass Clippings a Danger for Motorcyclists?
Patches of grass spread out on the road are more than a displeasing sight. Freshly cut grass predominantly consists of water (approximately 85%). As such, it represents a similar risk for motorcycles as a sheet of ice. Even dry lawn debris creates a barrier between the concrete and tires which makes it more difficult to maneuver a motorbike.
Unlike cars, motorbikes operate on two wheels. To remain in an upright position, the bike must sustain continuous contact between the road and the tires — especially when turning corners.
If a motorcycle goes over a road littered with grass clippings, some may get trapped in the tires and diminish the necessary traction between the pavement and the wheels. As a result, the rider may lose command of the vehicle and fall. In some cases, especially on rainy days, the bike can slip from underneath the rider and cause an accident.
Disposing of Lawn Clippings
Contrary to popular belief, lawn clippings have many purposes that benefit the environment. In addition, in some states, it is illegal to dispose of lawn debris on roads because it blocks street drains and pollutes the environment.
Instead of throwing away these fresh clumps of grass, they can serve as food to livestock. Composting and recycling are also great ideas. Similarly, grass clippings are considered nutritious as well as organic fertilizers for lawns.
However, if such actions are not doable, there are several simple ways people can save the lives of motorcycle riders. Bagging the debris after mowing the lawn is the simplest solution. Also, homeowners can turn the mowers away from the street as they near the curb. Another safe option is to use a leaf blower to clean up the road after trimming.
It is important to emphasize how much damage leftover grass clippings can inflict on motorcyclists. In order to prevent accidents and save lives, it is crucial to shed light on this seemingly minor concern.
Who Is Accountable in Case of an Accident?
Motorcyclists are less likely to encounter lawn clippings around urban areas. On the other hand, suburban and rural regions more commonly house big green yards and dirt roads, which pose a risk for two-wheel vehicles.
Over the last few years, many U.S. states started passing laws that prohibit homeowners from mowing plants along roadsides. While there isn’t a specific regulation regarding negligent disposal of grass clippings near roads in Iowa, some degree of liability can apply in case of an accident.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of awareness regarding this issue, many riders still get hurt in motorcycle crashes caused by piles of grass. The extent of injuries they sustain differs from case to case. But can victims of accidents seek compensation for damages?
Obviously, each case is based on different factors that resulted in a motorcycle accident upon which victims may file a personal injury claim. But when discussing grass clippings, there are several situations that would allow legal action.
If grass clippings on the street are a result of negligence by a lawn care company or a homeowner, this can be seen as a failure to upkeep safe working circumstances. Injured riders may file claims for ordinary motorcycle accidents. In such cases, the injured motorcyclists can seek damages from the insurance companies of the guilty parties.
Another possibility is for riders to gain compensation from their own MedPay insurance policies. In such situations, the responsible party remains unknown but the victims must provide indisputable evidence proving their case.
Lastly, motorcycle riders can claim general negligence against the lawn care company or a homeowner.
Before undertaking any legal action, it is advisable for plaintiffs to consult with motorcycle accident attorneys in Des Moines IA who specialize in motorcycle accidents, such as Tom Fowler Law. They help clients understand many issues relating to motorcycle crashes. For instance, understanding where motorcyclists should position themselves to be seen easier and motorcycle safety gears like how much force can a helmet take.