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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Understanding the No Zone: Motorcycle Safety Tips

Motorcycle riders are some of the most at-risk road users when it comes to collisions and severe injuries. One of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents is other drivers failing to see the bike on time.

No zones, also called blind spots, are the danger areas that motorcyclists must be aware of to reduce the likelihood of an accident happening. Drivers of other vehicles should also be aware of theirs to improve their awareness. An Indianapolis motorcycle accident attorney can explain all the details related to these zones.

This guide to the no-zone motorcycle must-knows covers the most perilous points for riders and vehicle drivers, how to avoid getting caught in them, and some information about what happens when crashes occur because of blind spots. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys are also happy to provide defensive riding tips for motorcycle riders.

What Are the No Zones for Motorcycles to Avoid?

What Are the No Zones for Motorcycles to Avoid?

A no zone or blind spot is any section of road that a driver cannot see while operating their vehicle. Even a small passenger car has a blind spot, but it is semi-trucks, buses, and other large vehicles that motorcyclists really need to watch out for.

Blind Spots on a Passenger Car

Cars can usually see a motorcycle nearby, but there is a blind spot for most drivers on either side of their vehicle, even if they use their mirrors. If they are passing a car, they should give as much side clearance as they can to allow for the driver suddenly trying to change lanes if they don't see the motorcycle coming.

Truck Driver No Zones

With truck drivers and other large vehicles, it is a bit more complicated. Here are the three key no zones to know about.

  • Front No Zone

A motorcyclist might not think much of cutting in front of most automobiles, but it could be a fatal mistake with a semi-truck. Most truck drivers have a blind spot of 20 feet or more in front of them and will have no idea that someone is there.

If a motorcycle riding in the front no zone of a large truck has to stop quickly, a collision is all but inevitable. Within the 20 feet of the no zone, the truck driver's visibility is effectively zero.

  • Rear No Zone

Most trucks don't have a rear view mirror since the tractor behind them blocks their view anyway.

This means the driver has no way of seeing what is directly behind them for as far as 200 feet, depending on the height and length of their vehicle.

When you follow a truck, avoid tailgating or driving too closely. If they have to stop, they won't know how close the motorists behind them are. Anyone who doesn't leave enough room is likely to end up in a crash.

Another reason to avoid the rear no zone is the limited road view it creates. Someone driving too closely behind a large truck cannot see what is happening ahead of them unless they pull out, which is dangerous to do in a no zone.

  • Side No Zones

Both sides of a truck have no zone- one larger than the other. Side mirrors only show so much, so drivers (motorcycle riders especially) need to be very careful if they try to pass.

A truck's side no zone angle outward and back from the windows. Because a motorcycle is so much narrower than a car, it is much easier for it to disappear into this zone.

Tips for Motorcycle Riders to Limit No Zone Risks

No zones will always exist. It is best to avoid riding in them at all, but that is not always entirely possible.

Here are a few tips for staying safe on the roads staying out of no zones, and knowing how to act when there is no choice but to enter one.

  • Pay close attention to turn signals.

Whenever a motorcycle is alongside a truck or large vehicle, it should be ultra-aware of turn signals. As soon as the vehicle signals its intention to move over, the motorcyclist should get themself to a safe position. Always check the other vehicles around before making any sudden movements.

  • Only try to pass if there is plenty of space in the lane.

Ideally, a motorcycle should only enter a side no zone if they have room to pull over just in case.

  • Never cut off a truck driver.

Cutting in front of a truck is a good way to get hurt. It is an incredibly dangerous maneuver that should never be attempted.

  • Stay as far behind a truck as possible.

The rear no zones behind trucks extend hundreds of feet sometimes, so it can be tough not to be in one at all. That said, motorcyclists can maintain a safe distance that gives them plenty of time to stop, even if the truck driver can't see them.

  • Always follow the road rules and laws.

Collisions that happen when someone is in a blind spot are often open to comparative negligence when it comes to personal injury claims. Although the person in the blind spot may have a case, if they broke any rules by being there, their chances of securing compensation could be reduced.

Who Is Responsible for a Blind Spot Accident?

Who Is Responsible for a Blind Spot Accident?

The law regarding responsibility and liability in accidents involving a motorcycle in a no-zone varies depending on the circumstances. In Indiana, the fault usually lies with the party who had the blind spot, not the party caught in it- unless it is a rear-end collision.

That said, there is a case to be made on behalf of truck drivers who collide with motorcyclists who were driving too closely in front or behind. It comes down to showing which of the drivers was negligent- or more negligent, as the case may be.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Go to War for Indy Accident Victims

Any Indiana motorcycle rider involved in a crash due to blind spots and no zones should contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Schuerger Shunnarah to secure the legal advice and assistance they need to put their case together and hold the responsible party accountable. They can also consult on the motorcycle accident statute of limitations Indiana.

Proving fault in no-zone accidents can be complicated, but the dedicated, detail-oriented legal minds on this team are up to the task. Contact Schuerger Shunnarah today to arrange a free consultation.


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