All vehicles have blind spots, but these areas on large commercial trucks are large enough to conceal vehicles beside, behind, or in front of the truck. If truck drivers fail to check their blind spot mirrors and sensors as they should, dangerous accidents can occur.
You may be entitled to compensation if you were injured in a Florence blind spot accident caused by a negligent truck driver. To learn more about your options for financial recovery, contact us online or call the Jebaily Law Firm today for your free initial consultation.
What Are Blind Spots?
A blind spot is an area around a vehicle’s exterior that isn’t readily visible to a driver seated in their normal driving position. Wide-angle rear-view mirrors, side-view or wing mirrors, external sensors, and backup cameras can reduce or eliminate certain blind spots. However, window frames and other structural elements of the vehicle can still obstruct certain parts of a driver’s field of vision.
Larger vehicles typically have bigger blind spots. Commercial trucks are enormous compared to most other vehicles, and their blind spots are correspondingly large. When truck drivers have trailers in tow, their rearward view becomes completely blocked.
Truck drivers are responsible for recognizing and monitoring their blind spots at all times because their failure to do so can result in devastating blind spot truck accidents.
Where Are the Blind Spots Around a Truck?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) refers to the blind spots around a large truck as “no-zones.” A truck has four primary no-zones, which are located:
- In the front – Many semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles have hoods that are taller than the average car. As a result, truck drivers often have frontward blind spots that can extend up to 20 feet ahead of the cab.
- To the right side – Tractor-trailers have large blind spots that can cover up to three lanes of traffic at a backward angle from the right side of the truck’s cab.
- To the left side – Because the driver sits on the left side of the vehicle, a truck’s left-hand blind spot is typically not as large as its right-hand blind spot. However, it can still extend across as many as two lanes of traffic behind the left side of the cab.
- To the rear – Truck drivers cannot rely on rear-view mirrors if they have a trailer in tow, so trucks’ rearward blind spots can cover more than 30 feet behind the ends of the trailer.
Causes of Blind Spot Crashes in Florence
Many truck accidents in Florence have multiple contributing factors, but most blind spot truck accidents are caused by acts of negligence, such as:
- Distracted driving – Distractions such as text messages, phone conversations, and even food or drink can take a driver’s attention away from their blind spots, significantly elevating the risk of blind spot accidents.
- Inexperienced driving – Truck drivers who have limited experience behind the wheel are less likely to check their blind spots properly on a regular basis or engage in defensive driving behaviors that reduce the risks from blind spots.
- Drowsy driving – With demanding schedules and odd hours, truck drivers are often prone to fatigue. Tired drivers are less likely to remain alert enough to monitor their blind spots properly and avoid accidents.
- Aggressive driving – When drivers behave aggressively by speeding, tailgating, or making unsafe passing maneuvers, they may fail to leave themselves enough time to recognize or react to vehicles in their blind spots.
- Driving under the influence – The influence of drugs or alcohol can seriously impair judgment, depth perception, and reaction time. These handicaps can increase the likelihood and severity of blind spot accidents.
Common Types of Truck Blind Spot Accidents
Some of the most common types of blind spot truck accidents include:
- Rear-end collisions – When truck drivers follow smaller vehicles too closely, those vehicles may disappear in their frontward blind spots, increasing the likelihood of rear-end “front over” collisions. A rear-end truck accident can also occur behind a semi-truck if another motorist follows too closely when the truck brakes unexpectedly.
- Sideswipe collisions – A sideswipe blind spot truck accident occurs when a truck driver merges or drifts into a neighboring lane and “swipes” the side of a vehicle in its right-hand or left-hand blind spot.
- Underride accidents – In an underride accident, a smaller vehicle becomes wedged in the gap underneath the trailer of a semi-truck. Truck drivers who make wide turning maneuvers without checking their blind spots frequently cause underride accidents with nearby vehicles.
Blind Spot Accident Statistics
According to blind spot accident statistics from NHTSA:
- 64% of fatal truck accidents involved the front end of a large truck colliding with another vehicle’s front end, side, or rear end.
- 5% of fatal truck accidents involved the truck’s right-hand side crashing into another vehicle in a sideswipe or T-bone wreck.
- 11% of fatal truck accidents involved the left-hand side impacting another vehicle’s front, back, or side.
- 20% fatal truck accidents involved the front end of another vehicle colliding with the rear end of a large truck.
Who Is At Fault for a Blind Spot Truck Accident?
Negligent truck drivers are responsible for the majority of blind spot truck crashes. Commercial drivers who operate big rigs should monitor their blind spots at all times, and when they neglect to do so, they can be liable for resulting blind spot accidents.
In some cases, other negligent road users contribute to blind spot truck accidents. For example, if a reckless driver unexpectedly cuts too closely in front of a large truck, the truck driver may swerve to avoid rear-ending the careless driver. If doing so causes a collision with a vehicle traveling in the truck’s blind spot, the reckless driver could ultimately be responsible for that crash.
Finally, the trucking company that hired the driver may bear responsibility for a blind spot truck accident. This could occur if the company knowingly placed an unqualified or untrained driver behind the wheel. If the driver is an employee and not an independent contractor (regardless of how they are labeled), the trucking company would likely be vicariously liable for the accident.
Contact Our Experienced Florence Truck Accident Lawyers Today
In the aftermath of a blind spot truck accident, you need a dedicated attorney who will fight relentlessly for justice on your behalf. You need the trusted legal team at Jebaily Law Firm.
Contact our experienced Florence truck accident attorneys today to discuss the details of your blind spot accident claim in a free initial case review.