Common Road Hazards to Avoid When Cycling

truck driver on a busy road

Cycling is a healthy and popular mode of transportation and recreation, but it comes with its fair share of risks. From navigating through heavy traffic to encountering potholes and poor road conditions, cyclists need to be aware of common road hazards to ensure their safety. This blog explores common road hazards and provides essential tips on how to avoid them. Cyclists can take certain actions to avoid road hazards and minimize the potential for accidents and injuries.


Motor Vehicles and Heavy Traffic

One of the most common road hazards that cyclists face is riding near motor vehicles and navigating heavy traffic. As a cyclist, it is crucial to be constantly vigilant and aware of your surroundings, especially when sharing the road with larger vehicles.

Ensure you keep a safe distance from vehicles and use hand signals to indicate your intentions. If you are crossing or turning at an intersection make eye contact with motorists to ensure they see you. It’s also advisable to wear bright and reflective clothing and to use front and rear bike lights. Additionally, you can choose routes with designated cycling lanes or lower traffic volume to minimize the risk of accidents.


Construction Zone

construction site

Cycling through or near construction zones can be particularly hazardous due to various obstacles and road conditions. Construction sites often have uneven surfaces and debris which can pose significant hazards for cyclists. It is essential to slow down and exercise caution when approaching a construction zone. Always follow the designated speed limit.

Be aware of any detours or temporary bike lanes indicated by signage. To be extra careful, you can dismount and walk your bike if the construction area is too hazardous to navigate safely. Stay alert and follow any instructions provided by signage or construction personnel to ensure your safety.


Bad Weather

Inclement weather conditions can have a significant impact on cycling safety, increasing the risk of accidents. Rain, snow, fog, or strong winds can make roads slippery and decrease visibility. Slippery roads can cause cyclists to lose control. Therefore, when cycling in bad weather, it is crucial to adjust your speed accordingly, increase your following distance, and use appropriate safety gear, such as waterproof clothing and gloves.

Make sure your bicycle is equipped with functioning brakes and appropriate tires for the weather conditions. Plan your route ahead of your trip and consider seeking shelter if the weather conditions become hazardous.


Slick or Wet Roads

bad weather

Slick or wet roads can significantly reduce the traction between your bicycle tires and the road surface, increasing the risk of losing control. To help avoid accidents on slick or wet roads, reduce your speed, especially when cornering or braking.

Avoid sudden movements and give yourself extra time to come to a complete stop. Keep a firm grip on the handlebars and be cautious of painted road markings and metal surfaces like manhole covers, which can become even more slippery in rainy weather. Consider using wider tires with a tread pattern designed for better grip on wet surfaces.



Potholes are a common road hazard that poses a significant threat to cyclists. Potholes can cause severe damage to your bicycle and result in accidents or injuries. When approaching a pothole, try to avoid it by steering around it safely. Scan the road ahead and keep an eye out for pothole indicators such as patches, cracks, or puddles. Be cautious of other vehicles while maneuvering to avoid a pothole and signal your intention clearly.


Poor Road Conditions

Poor road conditions, including cracked or broken pavement, uneven surfaces, and debris, can make cycling challenging, and dangerous. It is essential to stay attentive and scan the road ahead for any obstacles or road damage. Maintain a firm grip on the handlebars and keep your body relaxed to absorb shocks caused by uneven surfaces. Adjust your speed accordingly and be prepared to react quickly to unexpected road conditions.


Parallel Cracks

Parallel cracks on the road are another road hazard that can be dangerous for cyclists. These cracks are often found in poorly maintained roads and can catch your bicycle wheels, potentially causing you to lose control of your bike.

To navigate parallel cracks safely, try to ride perpendicular to them whenever possible, crossing them at a right angle. Reduce your speed and maintain a firm grip on the handlebars to ensure stability. If the cracks are too wide to navigate safely, dismount and walk your bike across them.



While pedestrians can create dangerous situations for cyclists. Pedestrians may suddenly step onto the road without checking for approaching cyclists, cross intersections without using crosswalks, or walk while distracted. It is essential to anticipate pedestrians, especially in busy metro areas.

Slow down when approaching areas with heavy pedestrian traffic, such as crosswalks, parks, or shopping centers. Use your bell or verbal cues to alert pedestrians of your presence, and always yield to them to avoid collisions.


Common Bicycle Accident Injuries

Cycling accidents can result in various types of injuries, ranging from minor cuts and bruises to more severe fractures and head trauma.

Common bicycle accident injuries include

Wearing appropriate safety gear can help mitigate the risk and severity of serious injury. Always wear a properly fitted helmet to protect your head in the event of a crash. Additionally, consider wearing elbow and knee pads to protect your joints, and use padded gloves to minimize the risk of hand and wrist injuries.


Who is Liable for Accidents Caused by Road Hazards?

Determining liability for accidents caused by road hazards can be a complex process. In general, if a road hazard is the result of negligence on the part of a government agency responsible for road maintenance, such as a local municipality, they may be held responsible for any resulting accidents or injuries. However, it is important to note that laws and regulations regarding liability can vary depending on the jurisdiction.

In some cases, the responsibility for accidents caused by road hazards may be shared between multiple parties, like construction companies or a government entity. If you have been involved in an accident caused by a road hazard, it is advisable to consult with experienced bicycle accident lawyers who can provide guidance based on the specific circumstances of your case.


Contact Experienced Bicycle Accident Lawyers Today

oncoming vehicle loses control and hits bicyclist

If you have been involved in a bicycle accident caused by a road hazard, it is essential to seek legal representation from experienced bicycle accident lawyers. At Golden State Accident Lawyers, our bike accident attorneys can help you navigate the legal complexities of your case, gather evidence, assess liability, and pursue a personal injury claim.

Contacting an experienced bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible is crucial to ensure that important evidence is preserved and that your legal rights are protected. Call our personal injury law office today to schedule a free consultation.

Scroll to top