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When Special Caution is Needed: Large Commercial Trucks on Wisconsin Roads

Motorcycle riders face many challenges that endanger their safety on the road. Because the majority of motorcycle collisions in Wisconsin involve cars as the second vehicle, it’s not often recognized how serious a risk is posed by 18-wheelers and other large commercial trucks. In fact, most of the problems riders have sharing the road with cars, SUVs, and light trucks are magnified when it comes to dealing with the big rigs.

A motorcycle crash with a car is frightening and risky. Having a large commercial truck run into you is terrifying and catastrophic. Your chance for escaping without serious injuries is small. The best approach, then, is to make sure one of those crashes never happens to you, by taking special caution around trucks.

Sharing the road safely with large commercial trucks

When riding on Wisconsin highways this summer, keep these safety reminders in mind:

  • Be very wary of a truck’s blind spots. riders believe that drivers of other vehicles simply overlook them. Large commercial rigs have correspondingly large areas on the sides and rear where the driver cannot see other vehicles—and there’s even a blind spot directly in front of the truck. The narrow profile of a motorcycle makes the blind spot problem worse. Learn where a truck’s blind spots are, and avoid them. Avoid driving side-by-side with a big rig.
  • Watch the stopping distance. The greater weight of an 18-wheeler means its momentum can’t be controlled quickly by braking. Maintain a much longer stopping distance behind a truck than you would a car.
  • Wear a helmet. This is an excellent idea whenever you get on a motorcycle, and it’s especially crucial for avoiding a disabling brain or spine injury following a motorcycle collision with a large commercial truck.
  • Follow the rules of the road. If you follow the rules expected of other drivers, you are more likely to be noticed. Don’t ride between lanes in traffic or share a lane with another vehicle. Obey the posted speed limits, but be willing to move down to a prudent lower speed if road conditions require it.
  • Be courteous in sharing the road. Don’t be an aggressive driver, and if you see a trucker driving aggressively, stay away. Driving is not a competitive activity.

Two reasons to cheer

riders should recognize that drivers of big rigs actually provide a couple of great advantages over other drivers. These advantages are significant enough to promote a lot of mutual respect between truckers and riders:

  • As commercial drivers, truckers are often experts on road safety. The typical trucker is skilled and safety-conscious. He knows the dangers of the road and will not take foolish risks; he rarely lets himself be distracted.
  • Likewise, truckers know the rules of the road. They will give motorcycles the full lane width and will honor a rider’s right-of-way.

Yes, there are some negligent commercial truckers on the road, who will drive despite a lack of sleep or after a night of drinking. Overall, however, you can get some comfort that most truckers have excellent safety records and work hard to avoid collisions with any vehicle, car and motorcycle alike.

When disaster strikes

Despite every safety precaution, accidents happen. If you have been injured in a motorcycle collision with a truck in Wisconsin, you can benefit by talking with Hupy and Abraham. A call to 414-223-4800 (local) or 800-800-5678 (toll-free) will connect you to one of our experienced Wisconsin motorcycle crash attorneys. You can order a FREE copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims, or arrange for a confidential and FREE consultation to discuss your case.

We want to help you. Let us show you how we can work to get you all the compensation you deserve for your injuries, damaged vehicle, pain, and lost wages.