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Bicyclist hit by Semi-Truck Critically Injured Near Turlock

A cyclist is in critical condition after being hit by a big rig truck on Monday, March 11, 2019. The crash happened around 6 p.m. as the cyclist rode his bike down Greenway Avenue and attempted to cross Lander Avenue.

California Highway Patrol says that that the driver of the semi-truck saw the cyclist and tried to swerve, but it was too late. Greenway has a stop sign at its intersection with Lander, but Lander has no stop signs, and it’s unknown if the cyclist had stopped at the stop sign. He was taken to a Modesto hospital with critical injuries and was later listed in stable condition.

Bicycles and Big Rigs

Big trucks like semi-trucks, dump trucks, large delivery trucks and heavy equipment vehicles pose problems for others on the road—especially for cyclists. The main reason is because of the size of the trucks. A semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 lbs fully loaded, and a dump truck with a full load of rocks and dirt can go as high as 86,000 lbs. This means that any contact—even a slight bump—between a big rig and a cyclist can be deadly.

Optical Illusion

One phenomenon that spells trouble for cyclists and pedestrians when judging how much time they have to cross a road is that the larger the object, the slower it is perceived to be going. A cyclist who is stopped to cross a road might see the truck and think they have more time than they really do. This can be deadly if the cyclist misreads how quickly a truck is coming.

Blind Spots

Big trucks have big—and numerous—blind spots. Truckers call them “no zones” because they can’t see anything in those zones. In a typical car, the blind spots are near the vehicle just off the rear quarter panels of the vehicle, but with a big rig truck, they can be in front near the grill up to 20 feet, straight off the back up to 30 feet, and then on each side of the truck extending from about midway back of the truck out into the next lanes. ,

Truck drivers have extra mirrors to help off set these zones, but they all can’t be observed at the same time. It’s up to those around the truck to use some common sense as well.

How can Cyclists Ride Safe Around Big Rigs?

  • Leave extra room for trucks when crossing roads
  • Learn to stay out of no zones
  • Stay back when riding behind truck
  • Don’t ride right next to truck
  • Anticipate trucks taking wide turns
  • Never ride in the space between a right-hand turning truck and the curb
  • Respect the size and mass of the truck

Do I Need an Attorney?

Many cyclists think that if they get hit by a truck, there’s a good chance it was the cyclist’s fault. However, even if you got a ticket as a result of the crash, this doesn’t mean that there is no compensation for your injuries. In California, fault is divided between those involved in a crash, and it’s up to the courts to decide who was at fault and by what percentage.

Talk to an attorney who knows the bicycle law and how to stand up to insurance companies who don’t think you should be compensated for your injuries. The attorneys at Bay Area Bike Law have the knowledge and experience to help you in these cases.

They are the only firm in North California that deals exclusively with bicycle law. A consultation is free, and if you decide to have them represent you, there are no fees paid until you get paid by the insurance company. Call us at (415) 466 8717 or click here to contact us online. If you still wonder if we’re the right firm for you or even if you need an attorney, read this this for help answering these questions.