Recently, a motorcyclist was killed after becoming stuck under an 18-wheeler on I-35 South. The accident happened near Kyle Crossing, and the highway was shut down for almost two hours while the accident was cleared. This accident, while a tragedy, does illuminate some of the safety hazards present for both truckers and cyclists, especially when traveling at a high rate of speed. If you have been in a crash with a truck or with a motorcyclist, there are certain particular features of that accident that are different than having been struck by another automobile.
High Fatality Rates for Motorcyclists
Because of the sheer lack of protection between a motorcyclist and the road, motorcycle riders have a significantly elevated risk of injury and death compared to automobile drivers and passengers. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimate that in 2016, motorcyclists were 28 times more likely to die in accidents than drivers or passengers in other vehicles – many of the fatalities caused simply by being unprepared to be struck, or to strike something, at such velocity.
Many of the causes of motorcycle accidents do in fact trace back to rider error – in the accident on I-35, law enforcement surmised that the motorcyclist had been speeding and struck the rear of the truck’s trailer without being able to stop. However, in many cases, driver error will also play a major role – for example, many accidents with motorcycles occur because automobile drivers fail to see their slimmer, often darker colored vehicles. This can lead them to turn in front of motorcycles or drive too close to the side of the road, which may crowd out a cyclist.
Truck Accidents Are Notoriously Deadly
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates approximately 4,700 fatalities in large truck accidents in 2017. While many of these were truckers, the other portion is made up of drivers and passengers in automobiles – or on motorcycles. Sometimes accidents simply happen, but at times, you may be able to hold a trucker liable for any injuries you suffered – or even their employer, depending on the specific facts of your accident.
Something to keep in mind if you are a motorcyclist who has been injured by the negligent actions of a trucker: to establish that the trucker was negligent, you must show that they did not exercise reasonable care toward you, the plaintiff, if they had a duty to do that. What constitutes “reasonable care” toward someone driving a car, with that protection between them and the road, is not going to be the same as conduct that is “reasonable” toward a motorcyclist. If you can show that the trucker’s conduct was not ‘reasonable,’ it can be persuasive evidence of negligence.
Can a New Braunfels Truck Accident Lawyer Help You?
While the motorcyclist on I-35, unfortunately, died from his injuries, you may be luckier if you are unfortunate enough to be in an accident with an 18-wheeler. The New Braunfels truck accident lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm have experience in handling these types of cases, and we are happy to try and assist you with yours. Call our offices today at 888-392-0039 to schedule a free consultation.