Dangerous encounter with a mother-trucker

On my way to Wytheville on U.S. 11 Thursday when I approached one of the many truck stops along the road that parallels Interstate 81.

As a motorcyclist, I always keep a wary eye out at intersections and other places where dangerous drivers can ignore rights of way.

Suddenly, a tractor-trailer, hidden by a parked semi, swung out of the parking lot of the truck stop and right in front of my Harley.

With traffic approaching from the oncoming lane, I could not swerve to miss the truck so I locked up the rear wheel and sent the motorcycle into a sideways slide to avoid sliding under the truck.

I missed the truck by less than a foot. At a stop sign I pulled up next to the semi to find the distracted driver yapping away on a cell phone. What I said to him was not polite and at least one of the words I used rhymed with “mother trucker.” He said nothing but stared straight ahead and continued to talk on his phone.

So I followed the truck, which had one of those “how’s driving” signs on the trailer. I pulled over, called the 800 number on the sign, and reported his dangerous moves. The lady on the other end of the line seemed polite as I gave her the number on the trailer, the license number of the truck from Tennessee and the location of the incident.

Then I called the Virginia State Police district office in Wytheville and reported the truck, its license number, the incident and its direction on travel on I-81.

Will anything come of it? I doubt it. The State Police are overworked and undermanned. A trooper would have to witness dangerous driving by the truck driver. The trucking company probably only cares if the driver delivers his load on time — not if he kills someone while doing so.

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