Truck Accidents and Blind Spots: What to Know
Almost by instinct, car drivers are typically wary of commercial trucks when driving alongside them. We may be familiar with our car’s blind spots, but how many people are actually aware of all those of a truck? We know to give them extra space and to be more cautious around them, but many drivers may be oblivious to all the potential ways an accident involving a commercial truck can occur because of their blind spots.
Blind spots around vehicles on the roadway can be deadly to other drivers sharing the road. Trucks have enormous blind spots which the driver must constantly check with mirrors before changing lanes. The larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spots become and the more challenging it is to avoid truck accidents. A Boston truck accident attorney can review your case and help you recover compensation for your injuries.
Where are a truck’s blind spots?
There are four blind spots, or “no-zones,” on a commercial truck, each just as dangerous and best to avoid as the next. The first no-zone is in front of the truck’s cab and extends about 20 feet out. As truck drivers sit much higher than regular car drivers, it can sometimes hinder them from seeing the vehicles immediately in front of them. There is a second no-zone to the right side of the truck, behind its cab. This is a major blind spot for them as it extends backward diagonally right where the cars would come up next to them – up to two parallel lanes over.
The third blind spot is the truck’s left side, just behind and below the driver’s window. Although this blind spot is only about half of the size of the right side’s blind spot, it is still a significant one that drivers and motorcyclists should avoid. This spot extends all the way to the back of the truck. The final no-zone is the back of the commercial truck. The average commercial truck with 18 wheels is around 80 feet long, so this blind spot extends about 30 feet. Since trucks do not have rear-view mirrors, drivers are fully blind to any vehicles that may be immediately behind them.
How to avoid entering a truck’s blind spots
It’s vital to remember that blind spots are named this way because it is almost impossible for truck drivers to see anything in them. Although traffic and other circumstances sometimes do not allow motorists to avoid them, it is important that they try their best to avoid doing so as much as possible. When it comes to the truck’s first no-zone, the car driver should not cut right in front of them.
Always ensure that you are maintaining that distance of at least 20 feet when you need to switch over in front of a commercial truck. With the second no-zone, it becomes a little more difficult to avoid as the truck’s right blind spot can extend up to two lanes over. The best way to steer clear of this is by slowing down so you are not right next to the truck, if possible. When the surroundings allow it, do not move into this blind spot as it can easily be the most dangerous one.
With the third no-zone, it is crucial that motorists avoid driving directly to the left of the truck. As with the blind spot on the right, the truck driver is unable to see all the way to the back of the truck. Try to avoid being in this spot as much as you can. With the last no-zone, a driver should never tailgate or get too close to the rear of the truck. Remember to keep a distance of around 30 feet from the rear, as the truck driver will not be able to see you if you get closer.
What accidents and injuries can happen because of a truck’s blind spots?
A commercial truck can easily weigh up to 80,000 pounds without taking into consideration the cargo in the back. An accident involving a truck can become very dangerous very quickly. The injuries can be severe or fatal, and many drivers are often left with disabilities for life. Whether it was the truck driver’s negligence or another circumstance, the injured victim can suffer several injuries. Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, can be very concerning as they can lead to memory loss, headaches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, and more. The victim can suffer a coma or stroke because of it, and many of these complications can last for their entire life.
These injuries are caused when the brain moves rapidly within the skull and can occur when a truck hits a car from either angle. Spinal cord injuries, or SCIs, are also one of the most dangerous injuries that a victim can endure from a blind spot truck accident. They can cause full or partial paralysis of one or several limbs. Other injuries include broken bones, PTSD, burns, and more. Victims will undergo potential months of recovery and expensive treatment if a truck driver hits a car that was in their blind spot.
How can a Boston truck accident lawyer help if you have been injured?
Hiring an experienced attorney right after an accident involving a truck and its blind spots is crucial to winning your case. The attorney will help you gather evidence and will build a strong case from the very beginning. They will inform you of your rights so that you can be better prepared and more confident in court. If a truck driver was negligent while checking their blind spots, and you were hit in the process of a lane change, you may be entitled to compensation. There are many different types of compensation involved, like medical expenses, loss of wages, and the overall pain and suffering from the accident, so let an attorney review your case. If you are doubting whether you have a case on your hands, do not make that decision alone.
If you experienced injuries in an accident due to a truck’s blind spots, it’s important to contact an attorney right away. These accidents can lead to thousands in medical and vehicle expenses, so no time must be wasted to begin seeking compensation. Contact one of our experienced Boston truck accident attorneys today. We know an accident can be very overwhelming. At Breakstone, White, & Gluck, we will answer all your questions and fight for your right to compensation. Call our office, or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.