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Shapiro & Appleton

Blind Spots in Commercial Trucks Put Motorcyclists at Risk for Injury and Death

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What attracts people to motorcycling? Many riders cite a sense of freedom.  However, along with that sense of freedom comes a very real risk of danger.  The National Transportation Safety Board recently released a report asking the National Highway Safety Administration to target blind spots in commercial trucks, especially in those cases where blind spots significantly impact motorcyclists and cyclists.  A truck driver has several blind spots so it's not difficult to understand why motorcyclists and cyclists may be so easy to miss. 

Any vehicle that is in one of these blind spots may not be easily visible to the truck driver. Because of the narrow frames of bicycles and motorcycles, visibility difficulties become even more pronounced and puts the truck driver at risk of colliding with and causing serious injury or death.  In truck accidents that involve passenger vehicles serious injuries are still possible even with the added safety of seat belts, airbags and the frame of the vehicle.  Motorcyclists and bicyclists have no such protection. They are extremely vulnerable to the high risk of injuries in an accident with a commercial truck, and it is these risks that the National Transportation Safety Board wants to target.  The report found that in the case of motorcyclists, there was a fatality rate of 119.5 for every 1,000 accidents.  The data analysis found that the most common impact location for motorcyclist deaths was the truck’s right side; accounting for 40% of all fatalities.

As Virginia (VA) personal injury attorneys we have represented victims of motorcycle and truck accidents.  Motorcycle operators are more at risk for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) than any other type of vehicle driver. While safety experts have determined that motorcycle safety helmets save the lives of hundreds of bikers each year, they still do not prevent all motorcycle head injuries. Though a safety helmet will minimize damage and often prevent a fatality, a large number of motorcycle accident victims in Virginia suffer a traumatic brain injury or head injury during their crash especially when a truck is involved. 

CT

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