Oil Slick Can Cause Motorcycle Accidents
A motorcycle accident can happen at any time, and one of the most common contributing factors is an oil slick. Oil is required to keep nearly every vehicle running at maximum efficiency. It keeps the gears from sticking and ensures the engine operates properly. Unfortunately, this also means that oil can leak out of these vehicles onto the roads. Large-scale oil spills can also occur, making the streets even more dangerous.
When oil collects on the roads, it causes dangers for all drivers and passengers, particularly motorcycles. Because motorcycles only have two wheels in contact with the road instead of four, it is far easier for a motorcycle rider to lose control of his or her vehicle. This can lead to a severe motorcycle collision and, possibly, traumatic injuries.
What is an Oil Slick?
Oil on the road is already dangerous to motorcycles because of its slippery nature. Oil can also be hard to spot, and some riders might not see the hazard until it is too late. Often nicknamed “liquid sunshine,” an oil slick develops when rain mixes with the oil that is present on the road. Oil, rain, and the other fluids leaking from vehicles combine into a dangerous mixture that often has a multi-colored appearance on the pavement.
Everyone needs to remember that oil and water do not mix well. This means that less dense material like oil rises to the surface and sits on top of the puddle. When this oil mixes with the oil that is already present on the motorcycle’s tires, it is easy for a rider to lose control.
How to Handle Oil on the Road
Because of the dangers that oil slicks present, it is essential for motorcycle riders to remain safe. The most effective way to handle an oil slick is to avoid it altogether. This starts with understanding the conditions. Oil slicks develop when rain mixes with fresh oil on the road. Therefore, riders should not go out in the rain unless necessary. Riders also need to understand that following a shower or thunderstorm, oil slicks might be present on the road.
Those riding their motorcycle right after a rainstorm should keep their eyes open for the multi-colored appearance of an oil slick. When this is spotted, riders need to go around the oil. This might mean slowing down to give the eyes time to spot oil on the road and take evasive action.
An Added Danger: Fires from an Oil Slick
An added danger of oil on the road is the flammability. Large-scale oil spills that lead to massive oil slick patches can also lead to a fire. Because oil is so flammable, even the smallest spark can lead to a massive conflagration. This can contribute to a major accident accompanied by burn injuries.
Anyone who has been hurt in a motorcycle accident needs to seek medical care as quickly as possible.
Watch YouTube Video: Crashing My Bike Over an Oil Spill. The video below shows a motorcyclist crashing after riding over a small oil spill in the road.
Sacramento Motorcycle Accident Attorney
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Motorcycle Accident Attorney. An oil slick can be dangerous for motorcycle riders and can cause a serious accident. If someone you care for has been involved in a major motorcycle accident, please give me a call today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.