Truck accidents happen for many different reasons, like when a truck driver speeds, drives distracted, or while tired. One other common type of common truck accident is a blind spot accident, and most of these accidents are preventable. Truckers need to anticipate their vehicle’s blind spots and maneuver cautiously to avoid accidents. Further, trucking companies must provide proper training to ensure their drivers understand how to manage a rig’s blind spots.
A blind spot is the area around a tractor-trailer, rig, semi, box truck, or any other type of commercial truck that makes it difficult for the truck driver to see other vehicles, pedestrians, or bicycle riders. Trucks generally have more and larger blind spots than cars because of their bigger length, height, and width. Most trucks don’t have side windows and limited vision in their side mirrors.
Truck blind spot accidents can cause catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, traumatic amputations, spinal cord damage, burn injuries, and permanent vision or hearing loss. Many truck blind spot accidents are fatal.
Where are a truck’s blind spots?
Common truck blind spots include the areas:
- In front of the truck. It may seem illogical to say a driver cannot see right in front of him/her. With trucks, however, especially if the truck doesn’t have a cab-over design, seeing directly in front of the truck for the first 20 feet or so can be very difficult. For this reason, truck drivers should make sure they don’t drive too closely to vehicles in front of them. Otherwise, the trucker may not see that the vehicle in front has stopped or slowed down, causing a rear-end accident.
- The left side of the truck. Trucks generally have a blind spot from the driver’s side down along the back of the truck. Some blind spots can extend several lanes to the driver’s left side. Turning left in any kind of vehicle, much less a large truck, can be extremely dangerous.
- The right side of the truck. Blind spots on the right side are just as problematic as left-side blind spots. They can be even worse on the right side if there is no right-side mirror. Truck drivers need a wide amount of room to complete a right-hand turn and must signal properly to ensure they don’t trap a passenger vehicle.
- The back of the truck. Many truckers cannot see directly behind the rear of their trailer. Just as most trucks don’t have side windows, most trucks don’t have rear windows either. Even with the latest technology, seeing behind a truck can be very difficult.
Commercial trucks should be designed to minimize blind spot problems, and include the latest technology to help the driver see around the vehicle as much as possible.
Blind spot accidents often happen for the following reasons:
- The truck driver is tailgating, or driving too close to, a vehicle in front.
- The truck driver doesn’t understand where the blind spots are and/or doesn’t use extra caution when turning, shifting lanes, or making any other moves that might put nearby drivers at risk.
- The driver fails to warn other motorists when the truck is turning, changing lanes, speeding up, or slowing down. Just one honk of the horn can mean the difference between safe driving and a deadly or a catastrophic accident.
Failure to account for blind spots can cause rear-end accidents and wide-turn accidents, broadside accidents, sideswipe accidents, and other types of collisions.
Who is responsible for a Sevierville blind spot truck accident?
Our truck accident lawyers file personal injury and wrongful death claims against all responsible defendants when any type of truck accident happens. We work with investigators and the police to determine how the accident happened. If necessary, we hire traffic reconstruction accident experts to help prove fault.
The defendants in a blind spot accident may include:
- The truck driver. The driver may be liable if he/she failed to check a blind spot and take proper precautions.
- The truck driver’s employer. Generally, employers are liable for the negligence of their drivers.
- Other companies involved in the shipment. These companies may be liable, for example, if they failed to inquire about what equipment and which strategies the driver uses to address blind spot concerns.
- The manufacturer of the truck. Commercial truck designers should anticipate that blind spots are very dangerous. They should consider using more than just mirrors and the driver’s skills. New trucks should have the latest technology such that can help truckers eliminate or more safely manage blind spots.
What technology can help prevent blind spot accidents?
New technology is helping truck drivers avoid blind spot accidents in many ways. Some of this includes:
- Rear-facing cameras
- Front-facing cameras
- Video that helps record the areas around the driver
- Lane assist technology to help the driver stay in his/her lane
- Vehicle detection technology that alerts the truck driver when other vehicles are too close
How can I avoid a truck blind spot accident?
While truck drivers are responsible for their own safe driving, other motorists can take steps when they are near trucks to help prevent blind spot accidents from happening. These steps include avoiding getting too close to the rear of a truck. As much as possible, car drivers should stay away from the sides of truck too, especially at intersections where trucks often cross lanes or made wide turns that can crush a nearby car. Cars should never pass a truck on the truck’s right side.
Drivers that pass a truck or enter the same lane of travel in front of the truck should make sure they are not too close to the front, as trucks need more time and distance to stop. Motorists should understand where a commercial truck’s blind spots might be and get out of them as soon as possible.
At Delius & McKenzie, PLLC, our truck accident lawyers have been fighting for personal injury victims for 20 years. We have the experience and resources to investigate truck accidents and help you obtain the just recoveries you deserve. We demand full compensation for all your financial and personal damages, including your pain and suffering.
To discuss your rights after any type of truck accident, including blind spot accidents, call us or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We are strong advocates for personal injury victims and families in Sevierville, Seymour, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the surrounding Tennessee areas.
Attorney Bryan E. Delius was born and raised in Sevier County, TN. He founded Delius & McKenzie more than 20 years ago, after receiving his JD from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He is admitted in Tennessee and in several federal court systems. Learn more about Bryan E. Delius.