When a motorcycle and a semi-truck come close to each other, the dangers lurk within the options. So many things can happen on the road. When something goes wrong with the motorcycle or the semi, the operator of the motorcycle almost does not stand a chance. There are many things both drivers can do to lessen the fatal risks. To achieve everyone’s safety, both operators must have a high regard for respect and awareness. These are some of the ideas to keep in mind when trying to prevent a serious motorcycle accident.
Be Aware of the Blind Spots
The biggest reason why semi-truck hit motorcycles is that the semi does not see the motorcycle in the blind spots or the “No-Zones.” Many of the same rules apply to motorcycles, as do conventional vehicles. If the driver does not see the semi’s mirrors, the driver of the semi cannot see what is in the blind spots. The motorcyclist needs to know where the blind spots on the semi are. It is something they need to know before they get on the road, not just when they are coming up upon the truck.
There are four areas of the semi where it is the most dangerous for the motorcyclist to ride or pass. Following too close is a huge mistake even in passing because the truck driver cannot see directly behind the load or the trailer. In front of the truck, which is too high to see over, the driver cannot see what is under the nose of the vehicle. If the driver cannot see the motorcyclist in directly in front, then the results will be catastrophic.
On the driver’s side, the no-zone does not have the extended blind spot as semi’s passenger side does. The driver’s side is closer to the mirror. It allows more viewing areas for the truck driver, but the blind spots still exist. The no-zone in the passenger mirror covers the entire trailer and some on to the other lanes. So the risk of passing on the right side of the semi is higher. Since it is easier for the truck driver to see a motor vehicle than a motorcycle, doubling the distance would be a safer bet.
Keep the Hazards in Mind At All Times
Once again, the same road rules apply for motorcyclists as motor vehicles, but the what-ifs are greater. As you speed up on the motorcycle to pass a semi, knowing your distance and speed are critical. The hazards can happen at any moment and are at more significant risk when passing. If a tire on the semi blows, which happens more often than people think, keeping a safe distance back could mean life or death. If the motorcyclist is following too close before passing, there is little to no time to get out of the way quickly and safely.
Another thing to keep in mind is that objects on the road are not visible when following a semi until the semi passes the object. You want to remain at a safe distance to react quickly because the semi can straddle the objects, but a motorcycle cannot. Giving the proper distance will allow for better outcomes in these situations. As we all know too well, the remains of a tire blow out are all over the interstates and highways. Other objects can also fly out of other vehicles, which are not seen if following too close to the semi.
Knowing What is Up Ahead
There is no second-guessing when it comes to passing a semi. If you are not 100 percent sure, do not do it. Two things to keep in mind when assessing the situation is if there is a sharp turn or curve ahead. The next is if any other vehicles or objects are up ahead, especially on a two-lane road with oncoming traffic. If you cannot see what lies ahead, do not take the chance. Knowing when to back off can save your life and others as well.
Common sense is critical. No one should drive like Evil Knievel. Having mutual respect between the semi and the motorcycle can keep you riding for a long time. As fun as riding motorcycles are, safety should always come before anything. No one is invincible, and a semi-truck alongside a motorcycle is like “David Versus Goliath.” The only difference is Goliath wins this battle. There is no competition, and the results are fatal.