Large trucks pose a danger to all types of vehicles on the road due to their relatively large size. Motorcycles, on the other hand, are particularly vulnerable because of their small size and lack of protection. A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh up to 100,000 pounds, whereas the average motorcycle weighs only 800 pounds. When truck drivers fail to share the road responsibly with motorcycles, deadly trucking accidents can occur.
When motorcycles and trucks collide, injuries and fatalities are almost assured. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently conducted a study on the frequency of injuries in different types of automobile crashes.
The study found that in the event of a motorcycle accident, motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to be fatally injured and five times more likely to incur non-life threatening injuries than a passenger riding in an automobile.
Motorcycles Have Increased Risk For Collisions with Trucks
Due to their small size, motorcycles can be difficult for other vehicles to see on the road. A recent study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) surveyed data from 967 trucking accidents that involved injuries or fatalities. The study revealed that 35 percent of all trucking accidents occur because the truck driver failed to recognize the smaller vehicle. Motorcycles are even more disadvantaged than automobiles due to their reduced visibility on the roadway.
Another factor that increases the risk for collisions between motorcycles and trucks is speed. Speed is a common factor in many motorcycle crashes and can be particularly deadly when a large truck is involved.
Common Injuries Caused by Motorcycle Crashes
Safety-conscious motorcyclists use the acronym ATGATT to remind fellow enthusiasts to be safe. It stands for “All the Gear, All the Time.” However, even when riders take all precautions, accidents still occur. Common injuries that result from motorcycle crashes include:
- Head injuries: including skull fracture, concussion and traumatic brain injury
- Neck and back injuries: including spinal cord injury that can result in paraplegia or quadriplegia
- Fractured, crushed or broken bones: this type of injury is particularly common in the legs and feet of riders
- Permanent scarring
- Internal injuries
- Severe skin abrasions: these are so common, they have earned the moniker “road rash”