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Motorcycles and potholes – A deadly combination in Michigan this spring

May 10, 2014 by Steven M. Gursten

During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, motorcyclists must watch out for potholes – which are an accident trap that’s often too late to avoid

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Spring is perfect timing for this safety month, as the motorcycles are already out in force.

The problem is, so are the potholes.  After the harsh winter with record-breaking snowfall and extreme temperature fluctuations, this spring has more potholes than ever all over the roads. State and government officials are even warning of a pothole emergency.

For a motorcycle enthusiast, potholes can be deadly. If a motorcyclist runs into a 4-5 inch pothole at a high rate of speed, that motorcyclist will likely fall or fly over the handlebars.

As the current President of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association, I became aware of such a tragedy this year, involving an off-duty Indiana sheriff’s deputy who was killed in April after he hit a pothole with his Suzuki motorcycle in Indiana.

Eric Stofer, 35, hit a pothole in Marion County, according to State Police who are investigating the incident. He was not wearing a helmet. Authorities do not believe speed or alcohol played a role, according to a story on Indy Star, “Deputy’s death underscores dangers of potholes for motorcyclists.”

Meanwhile, road crews in Michigan continue to fill the potholes. There’s pending legislation that would allow Michigan to spend $100 million more this year, in part to repair the influx of potholes.

In 2012, the latest statistics available from the Michigan State Police, there were 3,600 crashes involving motorcycles, in which 129 motorcyclists were killed and 2,870 injured.

During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and all season long, please wear your helmets, ride with caution and watch out for those potholes.

Related information:

15 motorcycle driving tips to keep you safe

Will my car insurance cover my pothole damage claim?

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