Danger while passing a truck

Danger while passing a truck


Info from Arlen



Over the past 30 years, I’ve seen plenty of motorcycle riders in the ER and the ICU with all types of injuries. Here I will share thoughts and ideas on safety. Ride safe, Douglas County HOG!





Edition #7.  Danger While Passing a Truck



      Motorcycle versus truck….it’s almost always going to end badly for the motorcycle and its rider.


      THE MAIN POINTS TO REMEMBER:  “Give a truck some room, and don’t hang around.”


      All cars and trucks have “blind spots,” those areas around them where they can’t see other vehicles by using their mirrors.  Some danger lurks for us when we are alongside or passing any vehicle, but it’s definitely worse when it involves big trucks.


     There are some actions you can take that will help to minimize the danger. Let’s explore the risks, and then see what we can do about it.


    One of the dangers is DEBRIS on the road.  First, if you’re following a big rig too closely, they will easily straddle or roll right over any road debris, but you won’t have time to react and avoid hitting it as it suddenly appears from beneath the truck.  Some experts recommend a following distance of four seconds behind any big truck.  You  need to have time to react to – and miss – a piece of debris that’s flying your direction.


      Second, tire blow-outs present real danger. The NHTSA reports that tire failures result in 11,000 traffic accidents per year, and a semi-truck tire blow-out can send pieces flying your way.


     “Give a truck some room….”  You don’t want to be near a truck when a retread blows and pieces go flying; and you don’t want to be following a semi very close when a piece of debris comes at you from under that truck.      


      Third, another danger with being around big rigs is the huge blind spots these trucks have, the so-called “No-Zones.” There are large areas in front, behind, and on both sides of a semi that are blind to the truck driver.  The trucker has these large areas all around the truck where he can’t see you.



     There is an especially large area of blindness on the right side of the big rigs.  Passing a truck on the right may be the most dangerous area.  And remember, that semi may be 75 feet long and weigh 80,000 pounds; you’re no match for that truck if he come rolling into your lane.  


      It may be helpful to try to be really visible while you’re passing; have your headlight brights on, and any other lights you have.


      “….and don’t hang around.”


     When it’s time to pass a truck, get going!  Don’t linger next to a big truck; get going, roll that throttle open, and get past him!  Get through his blind spots quickly.


      Finally, be ready for a blast of turbulent air and wind as you are alongside the truck and as you emerge in front of it.  So, be prepared, hold on tight, and power through.


      Again, just remember:  “Give a truck some room, and don’t hang around.”


      Let’s be safe out there!



Arlen Stauffer

MD, DCCC Member

 ’22 Road King Special Rider



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