If you enjoy riding your bike for exercise, pleasure, or both, or you rely on it to get you from A to B, there are a few things you need to know about sharing the roadway with large trucks. While you might assume that the safety precautions you take when riding next to passenger vehicles are the same ones you need to implement when traveling next to a large truck, this isn’t entirely true. You see, riding next to a dump truck or a semi carries many risks as the drivers of these vehicles have many challenges that passenger vehicle operators don’t. That means there are certain things you need to be doing as a cyclist to keep yourself safe and out of the dangerous areas where truck drivers are unable to see you.
To help prove our point, below we highlight an incident that occurred back in November that sheds light on why cyclists need to be extremely cautious when riding next to large trucks.
It was Friday, November 9th, 2018 when 24-year-old Meng Jin from Shanghai, China was struck and killed by a dump truck while riding his bike in Boston. Jin had been attending Boston University and had entered the U.S. in September to begin his graduate studies. WCVB reported that Jin had been riding on Monsignor O’ Brien Highway near the Museum of Science and had stopped on the right side of a dump truck. Both were waiting to make a right turn onto Museum Way from O’Brien Highway. Unfortunately, when both the trucker and Jin attempted to turn right, Jin was struck by one of the truck’s tires. He suffered life-threatening injuries and was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Sadly, many accidents just like this one occur frequently and most of the time, it is the cyclist who suffers serious or fatal injuries. So, here’s what the American Bicycling Education Association says you can be doing to help protect yourself when you ride your bike, whether it’s once a week or every day.
- Never stop at an intersection on the right side of a truck. Rather than risk being hit by the truck driver when the two of you attempt to make your turn, simply get off your bike and move it to safety. When a truck turns, they require a significant amount of space to successfully maneuver the vehicle.When they do this, it often leaves an opening that many think is safe to travel in, however, it is not. When a truck goes to complete their turn, there is an increased chance that the driver could hit a bike or car that is traveling alongside it.
- Do not linger on any side of the truck, in any lane. In the event you find yourself riding at the same rate of speed and on the side of a large truck, slow down so that you can let the truck pass you. The side of the truck is considered to be one of the no-zones you want to avoid as truckers cannot see any vehicle or bike that might be traveling alongside them.
- If a truck passes you, slow down so that they can get a little farther ahead of you. In the event you are “approaching an intersection, merge to the left and ride near the center line to avoid the moving blind spot.” The fact is, there are very few areas where a truck driver can actually see you which is why the American Bicycling Education Associationrefers to a truck as a “moving blind spot.”
- Be cautious when passing a truck on the left or ride side.
Bikers are also encouraged to ride attentively and never allow anything to deter your attention away from the road. Now, if you or someone you know suffered an injury in a truck accident while riding your bike in Boston, you should consider consulting with a Boston, MA truck accident attorney as you probably have many questions only an experienced lawyer can answer. If you need help locating an attorney in the Boston area who has years of experience with handling truck crash cases, contact USAttorneys.com today to be connected with a professional who provides their services in your area.