Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Truck blind spots

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by chillibutton, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. Hey all, the wife saw this on Facebook (I don't have it so can't share the page) - with the title of something like "If you're in any of these road positions the truck driver can't see you", and a message to pass it on all over FB. Thought it might be useful to post here especially for new riders (of which there seem to be many) and as a reminder to the old dogs (like me)!

    I do hope the truck driver would see the guy right in front of him before getting to that point though, its a highly unlikely position for a bike to just "appear" in....

    truck vision for bikes.

    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  2. If you filter without thinking its entirely possible. see:


    Bike filters to front, slips in front of truck. Oblivious, truck decides to get a little momentum before lights are fully green, knocking the rider over and taking him for a ride until the next set of lights. From Sydney if I recall.
  3. Just to point out that the picture is of a LHD truck, US probably, so for proper relevance think in mirror image terms. Good picture, worth thinking and talking about.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Wow! Not knowing the full situation I'd ask how come the bike didn't pull off before the truck when the lights changed (not paying attention?). Secondly, if I ever filtered in front of a stationary truck I'd be damn sure to be away before he was! Can't think of an instance when I've ever done that though, guess it goes into my auto "shit that's a bad place to be" filter which I'm not even aware of thinking about.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Easy, the truck driver knows the light sequence and starts moving before the lights go green. Probably why he left the gap in the first place, to get a rolling start...
    • Agree Agree x 3
  6. I'd like to think I'd be aurally aware of the truck behind me getting going! And my exhaust is loud...

    Plus if I was in front of one that's where one eye would be.
  7. there is one more blind spot not pictured
  8. Makes splitting the lanes a bit of a gamble doesn't it Trucks have it hard enough. I keep on remembering the Melbourne Tram ad comparing a tram to 40 rhinos. Odds are never going to be good for the other road user.
  9. Right up his rear end...
  10. "If you can't see my mirrors ,I can't see you ".
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. If trucks stopped aggressively tail gating people then there would be one less there.

    Sometimes I wish you should be able to shoot people who drive that close, it's just defending yourself.

    Only a versys rider would be that slow so that doesn't apply to the rest of us
    • Disagree Disagree x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. as a new rider this information is relatively alarming. i would have thought surely the bike closest to the truck on the left hand side of the picture would be visible? looking directly at the mirrors.

    it almost seems as if no where is good to be around a truck - not that i would want to be for other reasons of course.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. You have to remember that most truckie have taken so many drugs to stay awake that they can't see straight, so what might seem logical and safe... Isnt
    • Disagree Disagree x 5
    • Dislike Dislike x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
  14. Drunk posting 24/7 or still the same cockhead I remember you to be? :LOL:

    ^ What he said
    Its not always possible.

    JONES v TAYLOR No. SCGRG-98-521 Judgment No. S6880 [1998] SASC

    Judgment of the Full Court

    2 October 1998

    (Full Court: Prior, Lander and Wicks JJ)


    Full Court: Prior, Lander and Wicks JJ


    4. This is an appeal and cross appeal from a decision of a District Court Judge relating to a claim for damages for personal injuries by the plaintiff (appellant) in an action brought against the defendant (respondent).

    5. The action arose out of a motor vehicle collision when a motorcycle, ridden by the appellant, came into collision with a semitrailer being driven by the respondent.

    6. The quantum of the appellant's damages were agreed at $305,000. The only issue before the learned Trial Judge was the question of liability for the accident.

    7 The accident occurred about 4.45 am on 7 May 1993. Immediately before the appellant's motorcycle came into collision with the defendant's semitrailer both the motorcycle and the semitrailer were stationary at a level crossing at Magazine Road, Dry Creek, facing in a westerly direction. They were stationary waiting for a train to pass. The level crossing is controlled by boom gates, flashing red lights and bells.

    8. The accident occurred when, after the train had passed, the semitrailer moved off from its stationary position and collided with the rear of the motorcycle.

    9. Magazine Road is divided into two lanes for traffic travelling West. A raised median strip separates the Southern carriageway from the Northern carriageway. The Southern most lane of the Southern carriageway is 3.7 metres wide and the lane nearest the raised median strip is 3.65 metres wide. The median strip itself is 4.7 metres wide.

    10. There is a line drawn in a North/South direction across the Southern carriageway indicating the point at which West bound traffic should stop when the level crossing signals are activated. There is a distance of 5.5 metres between that line and the boom gate and a further distance of 4.45 metres between that boom gate and the Eastern most railway line. In other words the very front of a stationary West bound vehicle should be no closer than 9.95 metres from the Eastern most railway line.

    11. As can be expected, having regard to the time of year and the time of day, it was dark when the accident occurred. However, street lights illuminated the area where the accident occurred and both the semitrailer and the motorcycle were lit.

    12. It is common ground that the respondent's semitrailer arrived at a stationary position in the Southern most lane for West bound traffic before the plaintiff's motorcycle arrived.

    13. There were some differences in the evidence as to the exact circumstances in which the appellant's motorcycle came to rest and the precise position which the respondent's semitrailer occupied when it was at rest.

    14. Both the appellant and the respondent gave evidence in relation to the events. The learned Trial Judge, who had the advantage of hearing both the appellant and respondent, accepted almost entirely the evidence of the respondent which was largely consistent with the evidence of other independent witnesses.

    15. In particular, his Honour found that, when the respondent's semitrailer came to rest it was entirely in the Southern most or left lane of the Southern carriageway of Magazine Road and was not straddling the centre line. In that respect his Honour preferred the evidence of the respondent to that of the appellant. The appellant had said in evidence that the respondent's semitrailer was straddling the white line between the two West bound lanes on the Southern carriageway and that two thirds of the semitrailer was in the lane nearer the raised median strip.

    16. In preferring the evidence of the respondent, his Honour, of course, had regard to the evidence of the respondent, but he also had regard to the evidence of an independent witness, Sandra Carr. She was the driver of a motor vehicle which stopped alongside the semitrailer in the lane nearer the median strip. She said that the semitrailer was in the left lane, that is the Southern most lane, and was not straddling the lane dividing the Southern carriageway.

    17. His Honour, after finding that the respondent's Prime Mover was in the Southern most lane, found that the front wheels of the Prime Mover were about on the stop line running across the Southern carriageway. In that respect his Honour again preferred the respondent's evidence to that of the appellant. On that aspect the appellant had said that his motorcycle was straddling that line when he came to rest.

    18. The width of the Prime Mover was 2.7 metres wide and the lane in which it was stationed was 3.65 metres wide.

    19. His Honour found that after the respondent's semitrailer came to the stationary position, which I have described, the appellant rode his motorcycle down the left hand side of the Prime Mover and then took up a stationary position immediately in front of the respondent's Prime Mover. The learned Trial Judge found that the rear wheel of the appellant's motorcycle was less than one and a half metres to two metres in front of the Prime Mover. That finding involved an acceptance of Ms Carr's evidence and a rejection of the appellant's evidence which was to the effect that his motorcycle came to rest with his body about two to three metres in front of the Prime Mover.

    20. That finding was important because of the configuration of the Prime Mover. The Prime Mover being driven by the appellant, a Mack Superliner, has a 'long nose'. That and the height of the driver's seat from the road surface creates a blind spot for the driver. Low objects including motorcycles cannot be seen to a certain distance in front of the Prime Mover.

    21. The learned Trial Judge heard expert evidence from Mr Emerick, a person with technical qualifications. He accepted that evidence which was to the effect that a motorcycle at a particular distance in front of the Prime Mover would not be visible to the driver of the Prime Mover.

    22. Whilst his Honour was not able to find precisely the exact distance between the front of the Prime Mover and the rear wheel of the motorcycle, he did expressly find that "he was not satisfied that distance was such that the plaintiff (appellant) would have been apparent to the defendant (respondent) with the exercise of a proper look out on the part of the defendant (respondent)".

    23. He found that the respondent was not negligent in failing to observe the motorcycle travelling down the left hand side of the semitrailer. He also found the respondent was not negligent in failing to anticipate and appreciate that someone might make the manoeuvre carried out by the appellant.

    24. His Honour found that the respondent was not negligent in failing to hear the approach of the appellant's motor vehicle. He found that there was so much noise in the area that even with the exercise of proper attention the respondent could not have detected the noise of the appellant's motorcycle.

    25. In one respect and one respect only the learned Trial Judge preferred the evidence of the appellant and that was in relation to the point of time when the collision occurred. He accepted the evidence of the appellant that the level crossing bells were still ringing and the lights still flashing when he was struck by the semitrailer. On that finding the learned Trial Judge found that the respondent was guilty of negligence in commencing to move off before the signals had stopped operating. His Honour found that the respondent should have waited until the bells had finished their noise and the lights had completed operating before the respondent moved away.

    26. The learned Trial Judge also found that the appellant had been guilty of contributory negligence in positioning his motor vehicle in front of the Prime Mover in such a position as to put himself in danger. He found that the appellant should have appreciated that there would be a real risk that the respondent would not see his motorcycle.

    27. After making findings of both negligence and contributory negligence His Honour apportioned liability 30 per cent against the respondent and 70 per cent against the appellant. The agreed damages were therefore reduced by 70 per cent.
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Good point, however if you "cant see his face in his mirrors he cant see you" is a better rule of thumb.

  16. You can be too close to the truck and hidden from view, I drive a semi 5x days a week and also ride. The amount of times if had a bike cut in front of me and then loose sight of him is alarming. Its all beer and skittles from inside the helmet, trust me some "filtering" causes much anxiety in other drivers,,,,,,,,,,
    • Like Like x 1
  17. I have lost count of the number of times I've seen idiotic morons with a death wish pull in front of a truck as it's slowing down for an intersection.

    The other thing that give me a chuckle are the people who think it's perfectly acceptable to go up the inside of a truck that is turning.
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 1
  18. You have just absolutely confirmed, beyond any shadow of doubt, that you are a complete moron.
    • Winner Winner x 4
  19. You guys are too worked up. Are you truckie, and is it the drugs?
  20. I drive a medium rigid truck in Melbourne city and inner suburbs, as a motorcyclist also I have to say I'm extra shocked at what some riders do. I have had a rider overtake me on the left and turn left as i was turning left from Russel st into Collins st. And that is just one example of many incidents.
    • Agree Agree x 2