We see large trucks and big rigs on highways and freeways throughout the Los Angeles area, but many times, they’re being loaded or making deliveries at businesses or industries inside of the city too. That’s where most bicyclists are, and In urban areas, there is always the chance of an accident between a large truck or a big rig and a bicyclist. Here are some of the most common accident causes.
A big rig can be more than 70 feet long and 8.5 feet wide. Both large trucks and big rigs have blind spots all around them. The larger that the truck or truck and trailer are, the larger the blind spots will be. Those blind spots are on all four sides of the vehicle and whatever it’s pulling. They can go as far as 20 feet in the front and on the sides of a tractor and trailer and 30 feet behind the trailer. There’s a height blind spot issue too. It’s so significant that a truck driver might not even be able to see a bicyclist next to the cab of the truck. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has named these blind spots “No-Zones.”
The FMCSA doesn’t want anybody on the road to go anywhere near a no-zone. That’s because when somebody is in a truck’s no-zone, he or she can’t be seen, even if they’re in a car. In a no-zone, bicyclists will easily fall out of a truck driver’s field of vision. Regardless of the fact that bicyclists are legally permitted to share the road with other vehicles, bicyclists will want to stay away from any truck’s no-zones.
Squeezing and Right Turns
Given their length, tractor-trailers are gigantic pieces of machinery. When they’re required to turn right at an intersection, they’re often required to move to the left for purposes of maneuvering. A bicyclist on the right of a big rig might think that the truck is turning left when it swings out to turn right. That’s when the bicyclist can get squeezed, especially if there’s very little elbow room on the right. Getting squeezed can be fatal.
If you’re fortunate, and you survive an accident with a large truck or big rig, it’s likely that the injuries you suffer will be permanent. Always keep a safe distance from trucks, and stay out of their no-go zones.
Contact a Los Angeles Bicycle Injury Lawyer
Los Angeles Bicycle Law represents bicyclists because we are bicyclists. We know first-hand how rewarding, yet dangerous, cycling can be in the Los Angeles area. Even though the law treats bicyclists with the responsibilities and rights of a motor vehicle, the road itself offers far fewer protections. That is why we actively fight to protect bicyclists in our community. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in Los Angeles, contact Los Angeles Bicycle Law today.