Truck Versus Motorcycle Accidents
According to the records of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a motorcycle driver is nearly 40 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle collision than a truck driver in the same accident. In fact, truckers only make up about six percent of the fatalities in a multi-vehicle traffic accident. Collisions between commercial tractor-trailers and motorcycles can be devastating simply because motorcycles are significantly smaller, provide virtually no protection in the event of a crash, and are often driven at high rates of speed.
Chicago and the other urban and suburban corridors of Illinois are dense by nature. Driving a motorcycle is an efficient and speedy way to navigate city streets and choked highways. Unfortunately, when motorcyclists come into contact with large commercial trucks, a potential collision is almost always serious and is often life-threatening.
In terms of visibility, a truck and a motorcycle might as well exist in completely different worlds. A two-wheeled bike is small and fast, which makes it difficult to spot while driving a truck, especially during highway travel. A commercial semi-truck on the other hand is a significantly large vehicle, often weighing up to 80,000 pounds and being nearly 60 feet long even without considering double-cargo vehicles or other anomalies. Big rigs are almost impossible to miss, regardless of whether they’re on city streets, highways or other roadways.
Unfortunately, trucks versus motorcycle collisions are also often fatal. Witnesses often report the high-pitched whine of a motorcycle engine followed by a sickening crunch as the biker smashes into the engine or cargo of an 18-wheeler. Because the motorcycle is an open vehicle, the potential devastation to the biker is tremendous with results often including head trauma, spinal cord separation and paralysis as well as a quick but brutal death. Trucks, with their high cabs and heavy structures, provide a massive amount of protection to commercial truck drivers.
Because a big rig is up to 30 times the weight of a traditional passenger vehicle, every driver must be mindful of the other in order to avoid fatal injuries. During their training, commercial truck drivers are encouraged to pay special attention to motorbike drivers traveling in close proximity to their truck. Conversely, motorcycle drivers are encouraged to stay out of the truck’s “No-Zone,” which is the large blind spot that exists in any commercial tractor-trailer.
Avoiding Truck Versus Motorcycle Collisions
Most of the automobile crashes in the United States involve passenger vehicles simply because there are far more passenger cars than commercial trucks or motorcycles. However, while truck versus motorcycle crashes represent a smaller fraction of the accident statistics, they typically have far more catastrophic injuries. As a motorcyclist, the chances of surviving a collision with a commercial big rig are quite low.
Avoiding a motorcycle vs truck crash may be impossible but it’s important to try. Being aware of the essential safety tips puts all motorists in a better position to circumvent a deadly collision here in Chicago or throughout the Illinois region. Here are some basic rules of the road that Illinois drivers should understand and apply.
- Motorcycles sometimes appear farther away than they actually are because they are smaller than other vehicles.
- Always be aware of blind spots; this means knowing your vehicle’s blind spots as well as whether you are traveling in another car or truck’s blind spot.
- Motorcycles can turn on a dime but they can also stop a lot faster than a big truck.
- Always follow all traffic signs and driving rules.
- Be courteous to other drivers attempting to change lanes.
- Trucks often appear closer than they really are because of their significant size.
Keeping these tips in mind will help Illinois motorists to drive with a better sense of security while operating their vehicles. Being a defensive driver is the best approach to avoid any type of motor vehicle crash.
Contact an Illinois Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Suffering in a motorcycle or truck accident can leave you with medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you’ve been involved in an accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, you shouldn’t have to suffer. A skilled Chicago truck accident lawyer at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can help determine who is liable for your accident and pursue compensation on your behalf.