This video is a good reason to steer clear of trucks as a tyre blowout like this can be a major danger for vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists.
The incident occurred early May 2016 on the Logan Motorway in Brisbane, but it could happen anywhere in Australia.
Just look at the amount of truck tyre debris on our roads. Any one of those tyre blowouts could easily have claimed the life of a rider.
When passing a truck, it’s probably better to risk a speeding fine and ride by quickly than to sit alongside, or if a truck decides to overtake you on a multi-lane road, either speed up or slow down.
The video posted on May 14 on Dash Cam Owners Australia Facebook site shows the rider very close behind one truck and riding for a long time alongside the truck which has the blowout.
The blowout occurs about 30 seconds into the video and knocks the rider off his bike. Luckily, he slides to a halt on the verge and the following traffic avoids him.
While the rider should have taken a more cautious approach to the situation of a truck overtaking another truck, the bigger issue is that trucks should be restricted in where they are allowed to pass.
They take far too long to pass, causing traffic obstructions which frustrate motorists into doing stupid things such as dangerous overtaking manoeuvres or tailgating like this rider.
On multi-lane roads, trucks should be restricted to the “slow lane” as they are on European autobahns. Trucks, buses, vans and caravans are only allowed to pass in designated sections of the autobahn where it is flat.
Truck drivers will no doubt scream “discrimination!”, but they should be discriminated against in the name of road safety as trucks are responsible for the deaths of more than 300 people a year in Australia and 4500 a year in the US.
Research published in the International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion shows trucks account for 8% of US highway traffic, yet are involved in 11% of fatal road crashes.
Professor Bill Russell, deputy director of Melbourne University’s Australasian Centre for the Governance and Management of Urban Transport, has said Australians would be safer if more freight was moved by rail.
His research showed that moving 10% more freight by rail would save 25 lives in Australia every year, and 100 serious injuries such as quadriplegia or brain damage. Yet, road freight is increasing while rail is decreasing.
This particular incident was apparently caused by the truck’s twist lock extension breaking off and puncturing the tyre. However, many truck tyre blowouts are caused by old tyres that have been retreaded several times.
That’s a practice that should be outlawed and monitored strictly.
By the way, the rider suffered bruising on his neck and a suspected broken leg. His bike was uninsured.