Truck collisions with motorcycles are unfortunately common on the roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019, 5,014 motorcyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes, and 13% of those fatalities involved large trucks. Additionally, a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that in the majority of truck-motorcycle crashes, the fault lies with the truck driver.
This is an important issue to address because of the severe consequences that often result from these collisions, including serious injury or death. As the number of motorcycles on the roads continues to increase, it is crucial that steps are taken to prevent these types of accidents from occurring.
Causes of Truck and Motorcycle Accidents
Several factors can contribute to truck collisions with motorcycles. Some of the main causes of truck and motorcycle accidents include:
- Blind spots: Large trucks have significant blind spots that can make it difficult for drivers to see motorcyclists. According to the FMCSA, in over 33% of truck-motorcycle crashes, the truck driver failed to see the motorcycle prior to the collision.
- Driver fatigue: Fatigue is a significant risk factor for truck drivers, as they often work long hours and may not get adequate rest. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has found that driver fatigue was a contributing factor in 13% of truck crashes.
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving, such as texting, talking on the phone, or adjusting the radio, can take a truck driver’s attention away from the road and increase the risk of a collision. The NHTSA reports that distracted driving was a factor in 8% of fatal truck crashes.
- Speeding: Speeding can also be a factor in truck-motorcycle collisions. According to the FMCSA, in 23% of these crashes, the truck driver was traveling too fast for the conditions.
These factors are often interrelated. For example, a fatigued driver may be more likely to be distracted or fail to check their blind spots. It’s crucial that truck drivers are well-rested, alert, and attentive to their surroundings to avoid collisions with motorcycles.
The Consequences of these Collisions
Truck collisions with motorcycles can have severe consequences for motorcyclists. The physical injuries sustained in these collisions can be life-threatening, and the emotional toll can be equally devastating.
Motorcycle accidents involving trucks often result in severe injuries to the motorcyclist, including broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and even amputations. These injuries can require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, and may have long-term or permanent consequences for the victim’s health and quality of life.
The emotional impact of truck and motorcycle accidents are also significant. Victims may experience anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or other psychological effects as a result of the accident. Family members and loved ones may also be affected by the trauma of the collision.
According to the NHTSA, motorcyclists are 29 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled. In addition, the fatality rate for motorcycle accidents involving trucks is particularly high. The FMCSA reports that in 2019, 64% of fatal crashes involving large trucks and motorcycles resulted in the death of the motorcyclist, compared to 25% of fatal crashes involving passenger cars and motorcycles.
These statistics demonstrate the urgency of addressing truck collisions with motorcycles and improving safety on the road for all drivers.
It is also crucially important to contact a truck accident attorney if you were in an accident with a truck. An attorney can help you pursue financial compensation for these consequences – and while no amount of money can fix the damage that is already done. It can enable you to receive the best medical treatment available and help you pursue a higher quality of life.
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Tips for Preventing Truck and Motorcycle Accidents
Improving safety on the road requires both truck drivers and motorcyclists to take responsibility for their own safety and that of others. Here are some safety tips for both groups, as well as advice on how to avoid blind spots and increase visibility:
For truck drivers:
- Be aware of blind spots and adjust mirrors accordingly
- Use turn signals and check blind spots before changing lanes
- Avoid distracted driving, including texting or using a phone while driving
- Get adequate rest to avoid fatigue
- Follow the speed limit and adjust speed based on weather and road conditions
- Use caution when turning or crossing intersections, as motorcyclists may be harder to see
- Wear protective gear, including a helmet and clothing designed for riding
- Use high-visibility gear to increase visibility to other drivers
- Follow traffic laws and signals
- Avoid riding in a truck’s blind spots, especially directly behind or beside the truck
- Stay alert and focused while riding, and avoid distracted riding
- Take a motorcycle safety course to improve riding skills and knowledge
To avoid blind spots and increase visibility, both truck drivers and motorcyclists can take the following steps:
- Use additional mirrors or cameras to increase visibility
- Keep a safe distance from other vehicles, especially in traffic
- Use hand signals to communicate intentions
- Keep headlights and brake lights in good working condition
- Avoid riding or driving in inclement weather or low-light conditions when visibility is reduced
By following these safety tips, both truck drivers and motorcyclists can help reduce the risk of collisions and improve safety on the road.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck-motorcycle collision, it’s important to seek legal guidance from an experienced truck accident attorney. A qualified attorney can help you understand your rights and legal options, and can work to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.
Don’t let the physical and emotional toll of a truck accident go unaddressed. Contact a truck accident attorney today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case. With their expertise and support, you can seek justice and recover the compensation you deserve.
Remember, time is of the essence when it comes to pursuing a legal case. Statutes of limitations may limit the time you have to file a claim, so don’t wait to take action. Contact a truck accident attorney today to get started.