Truck Blind Spots and Common Accidents Lawyer
Driving a large semi-truck is very different from driving a standard passenger car or SUV. Truck drivers have to factor in the immense size and weight of their vehicles, as well as how trucks handle on the road at different speeds and under different driving conditions. One major consideration both truck drivers and those sharing the road with them must keep in mind is trucks’ blind spots.
Truck drivers are trained on how to watch out for other motorists and safely navigate around them. Oftentimes, trucks have signage on them warning other motorists of blind spots. Unfortunately, drivers aren’t always as careful as they should be. When blind spot accidents occur, the results can be devastating.
If you’ve been injured in a semi-truck blind spot accident, contact Brooks Law today to discuss your legal rights. You may be entitled to significant compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost income, future damages, and other losses. Set up a free, no-obligation consultation with our truck accident attorneys to learn how we can help.
What Are Blind Spots?
A blind spot is an area around a vehicle where the driver cannot see other vehicles in the side-view or rearview mirrors. Although blind spots are typically located in a 45-degree angle behind the driver in most passenger vehicles, large commercial trucks tend to have larger and longer blind spots. Depending on the size and shape of the truck, they may also have blind spots in front of and behind the truck.
Where Are the Blind Spots in a Commercial Truck?
A large 18-wheeler can have massive blind spots. Depending on the size of the truck, what kind of side-view mirrors it has, and whether it has other blind spot safety features like sensors or cameras, a truck’s blind spot can extend the whole length of the truck and even span multiple lanes of traffic. Some of the most common blind spots on large trucks include:
- In the front: Big-rig trucks, particularly those that do not have the cab-over design, can have blind spots in front. These blind spots can extend as much as 20 feet depending on the design of the truck. This can be a dangerous place for vehicles that get too close to the front of a truck because the truck driver may not see that vehicle brake or the truck driver may attempt to speed up, causing a rear-end accident.
- On the left side: The left side of the truck cab has a blind spot, running down the length of the truck. Depending on the size and shape of the truck, this blind spot can even extend across the left three lanes of traffic.
- On the right side: Similar to the left side of the truck, the right side also has a blind spot that begins alongside the truck cab and spans the length of the truck, extending out as wide as three lanes of traffic.
- In the back: Finally, like the front of the truck, there is a blind spot behind the truck that can extend from the back of the truck for 30 feet.
Causes of Blind Spot Crashes
Although truck blind spot accidents can happen due to a variety of reasons, they almost always occur because of driver negligence. Some of the most common causes of 18-wheeler blind spot accidents include:
- Vehicles following too closely, whether a truck is following too closely to another vehicle in front, or a vehicle is tailgating a tractor-trailer
- Aggressive or reckless driving, such as brake-checking another vehicle to get them to back off or failing to signal turns or lane changes
- A truck driver’s failure to check his or her blind spots before making a lane change
- Other vehicles lingering in a truck’s side blind spots
Common Types of Truck Blind Spot Accidents
A blind spot can result in several different kinds of collisions between 18-wheelers and passenger vehicles, such as:
- Rear-end accidents, whether involving the truck rear-ending a vehicle in its front blind spot, or a vehicle rear-ending a tractor-trailer while in the truck’s rear blind spot
- Sideswipe accidents, such as when a vehicle is passing through a truck’s side blind spot and the truck makes a lane change or an emergency maneuver
- Side-impact/T-bone accidents, which can happen when a vehicle swerves from a truck’s side blind spot into the front blind spot, creating a risk that the truck will clip the rear of the vehicle and then impact it in a T-bone collision
How Can I Avoid Being in a Truck Blind Spot Crash?
If you are driving on the highway with 18-wheelers, there are several precautions you can take to avoid being caught in a truck’s blind spot. These include:
- Avoid following a truck too closely. Tailgating a truck, or following too closely, puts you at risk for a blind spot accident. Tailgating not only means that your vehicle is located in the truck’s rear blind spot, but it also means that you have limited visibility as well. With you in the rear blind spot, the truck driver may feel it safe to execute emergency braking when necessary, putting you at risk for rear-ending the tractor-trailer (which will likely cause you greater injury and damage than the truck). Also, when your visibility is limited, you may miss important traffic signs or signals.
- Give trucks plenty of room when moving into the lane in front of them. Cutting off an 18-wheeler means that you will be in the truck’s front blind spot. That means the truck driver may have no idea that your vehicle has swerved in front of their truck. This increases the risk of your vehicle being rear-ended because a large truck does not have the capability to stop very quickly.
- Don’t linger in blind spots. Sometimes, you will need to pass through a truck’s blind spot in order to pass the 18-wheeler on the highway. If you must pass a semi-truck, you should do so quickly but safely. Although a truck driver may see you entering his or her blind spot when you pass, if you take too long to complete your passing maneuver, the truck driver may assume you have passed or forget that you are passing, leading to the risk of a sideswipe accident.
- Avoid passing on the right. When passing a vehicle on the highway, the law requires drivers to pass on the left. As a result, truck drivers will assume that any vehicle passing them is doing so on the left. If the truck driver must make an emergency maneuver, he or she will move to the right, assuming no one is passing on the right.
- Report dangerous truck drivers. If you see a truck driver operating dangerously, you can report it. Many trucks have a phone number on the vehicle that motorists can call to report dangerous driving. If a truck being driven dangerously doesn’t have one of those numbers, you can also call state police/highway patrol (or local police if you are on surface streets).
Driving carefully around 18-wheelers while being conscious of their blind spots can help you stay safe on the road. However, you can never predict when another driver is going to act negligently or recklessly. If you have been hurt in an accident with a large commercial vehicle, do not hesitate to seek the legal advice you need.
How Can Brooks Law Help Me?
If you’ve been involved in a blind spot accident with a semi-truck, you may be recovering from serious injuries. Your time and energy should be focused on your physical and emotional recovery. You shouldn’t have to worry about how you will pursue a legal claim for compensation.
The Massachusetts truck accident attorneys of Brooks Law have the experience and the resources to help you demand the financial compensation you need while you recover from your accident. When you choose us to represent you in your truck blind spot accident claim, you can trust that you will have aggressive advocates who will fight tirelessly on your behalf.
Our firm will get to work on your 18-wheeler blind spot accident case by thoroughly investigating your crash and working with industry-leading experts and professionals to help build a strong, persuasive case. Brooks Law will aggressively negotiate with the insurance companies for full and fair compensation, while also preparing your case to go to trial, if it becomes necessary.
Contact Brooks Law today to schedule a free case evaluation with our Massachusetts truck accident attorneys. Our dedicated legal team is ready to discuss your case and explain your legal rights and options for pursuing the compensation you deserve.