Rider dies in crash with turning truck

A 34-year-old male motorcycle rider has died in a crash with a truck that appears to have been turning across his path.

The accident happened about 2.15pm yesterday (7 June 2019) in Garfield Road East, Riverstone, in Sydney’s north-west.

Police have been told the motorcycle was travelling east along Garfield Road East when it collided with a Hino truck which was believed to be turning right on to Edmund Street.

The top photo shows the view the truck driver would have before turning right into Edmund St.

The rider was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics but died at the scene.

The male driver of the truck was uninjured.

Officers from Quakers Hill Police Area Command established a crime scene and commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash.

A report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner.

Any charges arising from the incident are not expected until the Coroner concludes their report.

Our sincere condolences to the rider’s family and friends.

Common crashes

Most accidents involving motorcycles and other vehicles occur when the other vehicle is turning across their path.

The result can be lethal as the rider hits the vehicle in a t-bone fashion, rather than a glancing blow.

There are a number of scenarios of turning-vehicle crashes where the rider is completely blameless and others where they are at partial or complete fault.

But in the end, it doesn’t matter whose fault it is if the rider is dead.

These are the four most common crash situations where the other motorist is turning, often without looking for motorcycles:

  • Oncoming driver turns across the rider’s path to enter a property or side street;
  • Vehicle pulls out of a side street into the path of the motorcycle;
  • Motorist pulls over to perform a u-turn without looking; and
  • A vehicle in front suddenly turns without indicating just as a rider is overtaking them.
  • Look for these signs

    We all know drivers don’t look for motorcyclists for a variety of reasons.

    So riders need to assume the worst and look out for these signs in the above impending SMIDSY (Sorry Mate, I didn’t See You) situations:

  • If an approaching vehicle has its indicators on, assume they may turn without giving way to you and look for movement of the wheels and the driver’s head turning;
  • Be suspicious of all vehicles coming out of side streets (left or right) and again check their wheels and the driver’s head to see if they have seen you;
  • Treat any vehicle that pulls over as a possible u-turn or at least that they will suddenly open their door and step out in front of you; and
  • If the vehicle in front suddenly slows, don’t take the opportunity to pass them. Be cautious that they could be about to make a turn, even if they haven’t indicated.
  • How to avoid SMIDSY crashes

    In all the above four situations, slow down and be prepared to take some sort of evasive action, looking for a possible escape route.

    If the driver is on a side street or oncoming, try to make eye contact with them.

    Make yourself seen by moving in your lane.

    You can also alert drivers to your presence by blowing your horn or flashing your lights, although these may be illegal in some jurisdictions and could give the false message that you are letting them cross your path.

    Don’t trust loud pipes to save you. Most drivers have their windows up, air-conditioning on and the radio turned up loud, so they may not hear you, anyway.

    Besides, in all these situations, your pipes are facing away from the driver.