Motorcycle crashes in truck tyre blowout

Lane position automated vehicles tailgater blowout

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.

Lane position automated vehicles tailgater blowout
Riders on the Logan Motorway steering clear of trucks

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.

Trucks autobahn blowout
Trucks are restricted to the “slow” lane on authobahns

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.

17 Comments

  1. Debris from tyre retreads is always left on the road and presents a danger to all motorists, especially bikes. Why can’t the tyres be marked in some way, such as data dot, to be tracked back to the truck owner and a fine for littering or something be imposed? Make it cheaper to buy new tyres than leave dangerous rubbish on the road and see how quickly the practice changes.

  2. The truckies are our friends on the highway, and this article is way too critical of them. And yes, I have been behind a truck that shredded a tyre, and fortunately was able to navigate between the chunks of rubber flying everywhere. But….

    On the highway, trucks are stable vehicles that do not wander about or change lanes willy nilly. Many of the accidents involving trucks are as a result of car driver behaviour. The truck gets the blame even when “a car crossed to the incorrect side of the road and in to the path of the truck”, as we often hear. I feel very safe riding around trucks, vastly more so than cars, and I wave to them, make room for them, and help them in any way I can. And never cut in front of them.

    Further, trucks are usually driven by drivers who THINK. They have to plan ahead, have a terrific view ahead, and are alert to their surroundings.

    Trucks are about number 127 on my list of complaints about drivers.

    1. Possibly because i have had trucks try and kill me in the past
      And i mean murder . Not just bad driving. I take a somewhat
      different view. I give them as wide a berth as possible.
      Better paranoid and alive.

  3. Hello
    just to make it clear a container leg came off from what looks like the Prime movers trailer traveling in the right lane.
    Blown Tyre??

  4. What pressure do those truck tyres use? 100psi? That is a lot of air squeezed into a big tyre.
    Maybe a reader can do some math and figure out the volume of air at normal atmospheric pressure.

    Once near Sydney I was some car lengths behind a dump truck that blew a tyre, but I was not as close as the rider seems to be in the vid. With the distance and perspective of the dashcam lens it is tricky to estimate the distance between that bike and the truck.
    Anyway, the cloud of dust that erupted off the dump truck was my big warning so I made a dash for the next lane (unoccupied) before a boulder or something else emerged from the dust.

    Another time, out on the Olympic Highway past Wagga Wagga, I was behind a low-loader that lost a spare wheel. That big truck wheel was happily bounding along at about 80kmh. The wheel started heading for the ditch on the left of the road and I contemplated a burst of acceleration to get past it, but I was watching it with some curiosity as well. As the wheel entered the ditch on the left side, I shifted back in preparation for a burst of power. As I did that, the wheel departed the left ditch and headed across the road to the ditch on the right hand side, right about where I would have been trying to pass it. Once the wheel reached the right hand ditch, I gave the bike a squirt and got out of there before the wheel had another go at me.
    And what if the wheel had wiped me out? What would the cops have written it up as? Probably going to fast? Maybe fell asleep? Unfamiliar with the road? Uh huh.
    Just as well the truck wheel did not collect any oncoming traffic which then could have then ploughed into me.

    Another time, up in Qld on the freeway coming back from Noosa, I was on a borrowed ZZR1100. Cruising at the 110kmh speed limit at night I came across a whole truck tread (obviously off a retread) sitting in the middle of the lane. I saw it a little later than I normally would have, the ZZR headlight was nowhere near as good the twin H4 headlights (glass, too) on my usual CBX750F.
    Just as well the ZZR1100 is a heavy, steady bike, as it rode over the tread and continued on. For a moment I thought I was going to be brown bread.
    A black tread on a black road is not very easy to spot.

    I did have a near miss with a cattle truck once, in King Street in Melbourne CBD of all places.
    Traffic was stopped, I was in the lane next to the truck, so I hung back from the truck which left a fair gap in front of me. Some of the car drivers behind me were not impressed, but not long after, a big gush of cow piss burst out the side of the truck.
    Some days you are the cow, some days you are a car driver with an open window.

    However, that is all I can remember of incidents involving trucks. Incidents with cars? Far too many to recall them all. Animals? Clobbered a wombat once (or it clobbered me, depending on how you look at it).

  5. By moving the freight off the roads and onto rail would not
    only save lives but mean less expenditure and maintenance on the roads
    instead more and more roads in the urban areas. we should be getting the
    4wds out of cbd’s and encouraging the use of 2&3 wheelers and smaller
    cars especially electric
    The other thing to look out for is tippers, If they are working demolition
    they can pick up rocks and bricks between the rear tyres and fling them
    out at highway speed

    1. Firstly let me say I don’t make a habit of flaming people.
      But you Sir, with the simplistic view, of removing trucks from the road, and utilising rail. To make our lives as motorcyclists safer from the threat of truck tyre blow outs. I’m astounded, dumbfounded in fact, that anyone could or would make such a statement. And the comment less expenditure and maintenance on the roads would also be a welcome by-product, really so rail networks don’t need maintenance. And getting 4wd’s out of CDB’s, so let me get this straight you want to ban me or my good women from seeing our chosen medical practitioners who work from the CDB, because we live in the country, and we have a 4wd for that reason and what we deem for our safety.

      You Sir, try as I do in my work place to get goods, to or from any capital city, by rail. Good luck there. Then try and get your goods to the back of Butt *#*# Idaho. It ain’t gunna happen fella. Not for love or money.
      Sir, without trucks and the whole transport industry this great nation, will fall to it’s knees, and very very quickly.
      In an age of such unemployment and a strain on the economy, many many business would shut up shop, as our goods would not be delivered to the end user. Many regional dwellers like myself will not have access to our most basic of needs, such as foods, fuels, postal services, the list goes on and on. And having said that, I live some 50 metres from the main inter-capital rail-line. And let me assure you there is no, that’s nil, facilities at the railway station for the loading and unloading of the above mentioned goods.
      Let’s just hope, the safetycrats are not as simplistic as you Sir. As another simplistic view, would be to remove motorcyclists from the danger, and ban us from the roads. A whole lot simpler, and as motorcyclists are a mere minority.
      FFS. Walking away shaking my head, and putting away the double barrel flame thrower.

      1. And yes just for the record, I have had my nose spread across my face from a highway speed impact of a piece of blown truck tyre debris from a truck at highway speed coming toward me.

      2. In Pete’s defence rail is under utilised and if it were used to the utmost there would be fewer trucks on the road. About 30 out of every thousand interstate trucks.
        I too have had a whack or four from a large lump of tread .
        But you have never experienced the jewel jaring surprize of running over a dead roo hidden by a light layer of fog! Imagine your tiny bit of tire and make it as thick as well a whole truck tire.
        Fortunately I was on one of the best bikes ever made a XJ900 Yamaha and it simply got a little air borne and game down nicely without bucking me off. All I had to do was hang on until my testicles returned to their proper place and I could breath again.

        1. Again, by just having a basic knowledge of freight movement across this great nation. Rail is solely set up for the bulk transportation of goods. ie minerals, containers, and bulk freight such as steel, gain etc It is not set up for palleted goods. Its that simple.
          Then if you like to spend the time Sir, doing the maths, on the economics of, for instance, getting a empty container delivered to my site by truck from a container storage site putting 7 pallets into a 20 foot container, have it trucked to the rail yards sent inter capital by rail, then picked-up by truck delivered to site unloaded then picked up by truck again and taken to a container storage site. Then add into the factor that 7 pallets does not fill the container.

          Simplistic solutions will not drive this nation forward in fact it will send us back to the dark ages.
          Re: Campbell Spewmans simplistic view of Patch clubs, that every single patch member is a criminal.
          Everyone who talks, or is associated to a patch member is a criminal, Every Motorcyclist is a dog rapist, a child eating, murderous drug addict. Every Muslim is a terrorist. We used to be called the lucky country, then we got called the smart country, now we are the lucky country again, we are lucky that at least half the population is still smart enough to remember to breath.
          Under utilized, I doubt that that very much. come and sit on my front porch some day, and pour a beer down. Rail freight does not cater for palleted goods, and its pure economics from that point on.

          An example of pure economics. A mate is a gain producer, It works out that it’s more economical, to buy a Volvo 540 prime mover and grain haulage trailers to get his produce to the ports for export. That includes his time driving the 10 hour round trip, and using his employees to drive. Rather than getting his grain to the nearest rail siding with silos and rail freighting.

          Nothing but pure, simple economics, and horses for courses, dear sir.

      3. I live in the country too and also visit medical practitioners in brisbane
        i ride a motorcycle. Why do you need a 4wd for safety? Zombie attacks?
        Fear of getting wiped out by some dickhead in a b-double?
        The reason you can’t get goods by rail is because we have a crap rail network
        As for regional dwellers like you .The reason services are so poor
        is that no one in their right mind wants to live out there

        1. We have our 4 wheel drive as a tow vehicle, it would be grossly irresponsible (that being the.” our safety” as well as other road users) and against the law to tow, what we tow, with anything less. Or are you suggesting, we should go and buy another car just to appease your simplistic views Sir. And before you go into a rant of why we simply don’t catch the train, her indoors suffers a psychical disability. And it would be psychically impossible to do so.

          I ride every work day for about an hour each way along Victoria’s most major Hwy. I can assure you that the double B’s are the least of my problems. And I find them in most cases a pleasure to share the Highway with. Unlike the majority of, it’s all about me, car drivers.

          The rail system is not crap, it does well at what it does, it shifts bulk cargo. Yes maybe possibly, it could be better, but to put it bluntly Sir, to make it better, who the f*#*, is gunna pay for it. I’ll give you the answer, cause I’m starting to feel you Sir, couldn’t possibly manage it by yourself. THE END USER. ( That’s you, me and everyone else ) In the simplest terms possible Sir, ITS NOT ECONOMICALLY VIABLE.

          You’d best read back though my responses Sir, you seem to be getting your tits in a tangle.
          No where have I said that as it stands now, being serviced by the trucking industry, that the services are poor in fact they serve me very well. However I did state, that by removing the service and being reliant upon rail service, it would become impossibly poor.

          Indeed I’m quite happy to be called out of my mind for choosing to live where I live, call me crazy if you wish, but on weekends, IMO, some of the very best, of this states riding roads are at my doorstep. And if that’s crazy, best call the men in white suits.

          A simplistic view Sir, of one hat fits all, is not going too, and never will solve any national or state based problem. Again look at your, Mr Campbell Spewmans simplistic views and attempts. Speaking which, you can say goodbye to $500,000 plus costs of Qld taxpayers money, yesterday. Happiness on the nut farm aye.

          1. When i receive freight from brisbane it is first picked up
            then taken to a depot in brisbane freighted to the sunshine
            coast and then trucked again to its final destination.
            So with an upgraded railway system and distribution
            network whats the difference?
            Apart of course from relieving congestion and saving
            fuel .Not to mention putting money back into the public
            purse rather than seeing it go to multi-national transport
            companies.
            I drove a truck in another life and while a majority of drivers are safe
            and responsible there are quite a few idiots. Not to mention
            a number who look at it as a ‘lifestyle ‘get into debt way over
            their heads and start driving illegal and dangerous hours
            to try and stave off bankrupsy . Something taken advantage
            of by major contractors who pay pittance rates.
            Oh and campbell newmans been gone for quite a while now.

          2. just a footnote on newman. Newman was simply a politician acting
            as politicians do. The real instigators of this where those who rioted
            on the gold coast. Then we had the reaction of the tabloid press
            who left little choice for newman to do what he did. Big overreaction
            Hell yes.
            But it was the actions of those few that have brought the grief and loss of livelihood to people who were completely blameless in the whole affair

          3. Sir, then I suggest strongly, if its a feel good thing you seek, by not to supporting the system of pick-up and delivery that you described, in the industry it is called, quite obviously, hub and spoke, and not having you goods transited by truck. Then let your fingers do the walking Sir, and your wallet do the talking, and support the ad hoc courier system. If the parcel is not too big and if they have motorcycle couriers on long channel in Brisbane, you could even get it delivered by ad hoc motorcycle, for that, more enhanced, feel good, warm fuzzy feeling.

            Don’t worry Sir, I am very well aware of Mr Spewmans exit, however I did point out, the population of Qld is still paying for, his fascist, simplistic, stupidity. The key words here being, SIMPLISTIC and PAYING FOR. These two words go, so hand in hand together, don’t they?

  6. The rabid revenue raising under the guise of safety has made our roads a much more dangerous place! Traffic used to flow and there was almost always a safe place to overtake and you could speed up so not only you could get past safely but other behind you too.
    But now the fear of fines and loss of license and non existent enforcement of road rules that have more to do with accidents than speed does has caused drivers to loose skills and patients and their lives.

  7. I feel sorry for the guy but you have to ride as if every other road user is out to get you. You can’t always avoid these situations but you can reduce the risk. He is lucky to have survived. No insurance? insane. Even third party property damage so your not paying for the other vehicle if you damage it.

    I realise insurance is very expensive and more so if you have a poor driving/riding traffic record.

    Victoria has on certain roads that heavy vehicles must travel in the left lane. It should be Australia wide.

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