Why Motorcyclists Must be Careful Around Trucks

Motorcycle riding alone on wooded rural highway

Many motorcyclists bask in the exhilaration of riding along the highway and weaving through traffic. While motorcycles are naturally more maneuverable, they are also significantly more dangerous than traditional vehicles, and motorcyclists are at especially great risk when driving around large trucks. Why should motorcyclists be careful when driving around big rigs? Allow us to explain.

Disproportionate Impact

Motorcycles makeup about 3% of all vehicles on US roads but comprise 13% of all motor vehicle fatalities. Motorcyclists are overrepresented in all motor vehicle accidents, especially truck crashes, where almost all wrecks result in some catastrophic injury, and around 80% are fatal.

In most cases, these crashes are caused by two factors:

  1. Motorcycle riders being struck from the rear, and

  2. Front-end collisions with other vehicles.

When it comes to trucking accidents, more motorcycle riders are struck from the rear, often due to poor merging techniques and because they don’t understand the “no-zone.”

Understanding the No-Zone

The no-zone is the term for a semi-truck’s unique blindspots. Typically, tractor-trailer drivers cannot see anything to their immediate right and very little to their immediate left. They also can’t see anything directly in front of their hood or behind their trailer.

Because motorcycles are so small compared to other vehicles, truckers can’t see riders who pass them on the right or who merge too close to the front of their vehicle. Therefore, every motorcycle rider must be extremely cautious when merging in front of a truck and should provide a few additional car lengths before returning to the passing lane.

As a general rule, motorcyclists should make sure they can see the top of the truck’s cab in their mirrors before merging back into the passing lane. Doing so just might help prevent a catastrophic crash.

If you or someone you love suffered severe injuries in a motorcycle crash, you need a firm that can offer the personal attention you deserve! If you’d like to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced New Hampshire motorcycle accident attorney from Upton & Hatfield, LLP, don’t hesitate to call (603) 716-9777 or send us an email.

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