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Potential Dangers of "Super Lorries" to Motorcyclists and Road Users
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Potential Dangers of "Super Lorries" to Motorcyclists and Road Users
4d ago Industry
Sponsored by Moto Animals

Recent legislation in the UK has paved the way for the introduction of "super lorries" on the country's road network. Starting from May 31st, 2023, these elongated trucks, measuring up to 61ft (18.55m) in length, will join the existing fleet, surpassing standard trucks by over 2m (6ft 9in). While the benefits of increased cargo capacity and improved logistics are evident, concerns have been raised by safety advocates regarding the potential risks these supersized vehicles pose to vulnerable road users, including motorcyclists.

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If you've ever found yourself beside an articulated lorry at a roundabout, you know the nerve-wracking experience as the trailer encroaches into your lane during the turn. Despite glimpsing the driver's face through the cab's rearview mirror, there's always that lingering worry of going unnoticed, leaving you to anticipate your fate. Although most drivers do spot nearby motorcycles, unfortunate instances occur where they fail to do so, resulting in damaged bikes and potential injuries to riders.

Safety campaigners are drawing attention to such scenarios, but there's another issue stemming from these supersized rigs. With the construction of additional smart motorways halted, we now have extensive road networks in the UK, many lacking a permanent hard shoulder and instead featuring emergency refuge areas. These designated safe spaces, typically around 100m in length, can quickly become problematic when a lorry with a blown-out tire occupies almost the entire area, leaving little to no room for other vehicles, including motorcycles. If your bike experiences a critical engine or electrical failure, how can you safely reach the next refuge?

The underlying motivation behind these trucks is, unsurprisingly, revenue. According to reports from the Mail Online, a single super lorry could replace a standard-sized truck for every twelfth load carried, a move the government estimates will generate £7 billion in approximately five years.

While the potential economic gains are undeniable, it is crucial to address the concerns surrounding the safety of road users, particularly motorcyclists, as these supersized lorries become a common sight on UK roads. Striking a balance between efficiency and the well-being of all road users should remain a top priority.

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