There’s nothing like an evening ride on a motorcycle. The wind on your face, the buzz of the engine, and the feel of the road—it makes all the long hours at work just melt away. The best roads are a bit far away, but you can always take I-70 back and make it home in time for dinner.
Unfortunately, too many bikers have made the mistake of taking a nighttime shortcut—many of whom did not live to see the next day.
Trailers Without Brake Lights: A Major Cause of Motorcycle Crashes in MO
Even if you always ride safely next to semis and other vehicles hauling trailers, you should know that these vehicles pose a significant threat to motorcyclists—especially at night.
- Makeshift trailers. Some drivers prefer to build their own trailers to haul cargo rather than buy them. While these vehicles may be roadworthy, they are less likely to be inspected for road safety. Many of these trailers lack the necessary tail lights required to warn other drivers of sudden braking.
- Broken taillights. Trucking companies are notorious for skipping mandatory truck maintenance checks before sending the vehicle back out on the road. Taillights may not be working due to smashed light covers, electrical issues, or may simply be too covered with grime to be visible.
- Lack of reflectors. While most commercial semis have reflective tape around their sides, they do not always have them at the back. When they do, they are often placed at a car’s headlight height.
- No underride guards. Accidents are often fatal when a smaller vehicle strikes the back of a semi that does not have proper underride guards installed. Motorcyclists may be killed, severely disfigured, or paralyzed as they attempt to “lay down” the bike in order to avoid making contact with the back of a semi.
As a longtime biker, you probably know that the public takes a dim view of a motorcyclist when he is involved in an accident. Even when he is in no way at fault, the other party involved—a commercial trucker, driver of a small car, or even a pedestrian—will often try to shift blame onto the motorcyclist. Our attorney James Roswold, an avid biker, has written a book full of tips specifically for motorcycle riders. Download your free copy of The Devil’s Advocate: A Biker’s Guide to Accidents and Injuries, to start learning how to protect your accident case.