Lancaster Truck Blind Spot Accident Lawyer
Commercial trucks have enormous blind spots on all sides. Truckers and other motorists both have a responsibility to be particularly conscious of these blind spots when driving alongside other vehicles. If any of those parties fails in that duty, the chances of a serious or deadly crash are high.
If a blind spot truck accident occurs, several parties could be held financially responsible for any resulting injuries. An experienced Lancaster truck accident lawyer can investigate the case to determine who should be held accountable and fight for compensation for accident victims. In some cases, compensation is the only thing that helps families afford the expensive medical bills and other losses that often accompany semi-truck collisions.
Were you hurt in a blind spot crash in Lancaster, SC? Get David Blackwell Law by your side. Attorney David Blackwell has represented clients in Lancaster, Indian Head, and throughout Lancaster and York counties for decades. When you need justice, you can count on us to push for maximum compensation in your case.
Don’t wait to get started on your S.C. blind spot accident claim. Call or fill out our contact form now.
Where are the Blind Spots Around a Truck?
All four sides of a truck have a blind spot, and they are all very large. These areas are called no-zones because vehicles should try to remain out of them. The four no-zones include:
- The right side: This is the largest blind spot on a truck. The no-zone on the right side of the truck starts at the front of the cab and extends past the rear of the trailer. The blind spot extends over two lanes of traffic, growing wider as it reaches towards the back of the truck.
- The left side: The no-zone on the left side of a truck starts just behind the trucker and extends halfway down the trailer. Unlike the no-zone on the right, the blind spot on the left side extends over just one lane of traffic.
- The front: Truckers sit much higher above the ground than other drivers. As a result, they cannot see what is directly in front of them. The front no-zone extends 20 feet.
- The back: It’s almost impossible for truckers to see what’s directly behind them. The no- zone in the rear of the truck is 30 feet.
Truckers are responsible for checking that their blind spots are clear before they change lanes or turn. However, other motorists should always try to stay out of these areas so they can remain safe. To ensure that you stay out of the no-zones, the general rule of thumb is that if you cannot see the driver’s face, he or she cannot see you.
Causes of Blind Spot Crashes
Nearly all blind spot accidents are caused by a failure of a driver to check his or her blind spot thoroughly. Common causes of blind spot truck accidents include:
- Following too closely: A trucker or driver who tailgates another vehicle can be seriously hurt if either needs to stop suddenly.
- Aggressive driving: Drivers who are impatient or irritated with other motorists may take it out on them by engaging in dangerous driving behaviors, such as speeding, hitting the brakes suddenly, or changing lanes quickly. Because trucks drastically outweigh cars, a trucker who engages in this type of behavior is particularly reckless and capable of causing a deadly accident.
- Improperly adjusted mirrors: Drivers rely on mirrors a lot when they are driving. These mirrors are only effective if they are adjusted well. When drivers fail to ensure their mirrors are properly positioned, they can easily cause a blind spot accident.
- Motorists who linger in the no zones: If you stay in a no zone for too long, you run the risk of a truck driver not seeing you or forgetting that you’re there. Truckers who plainly forget to check their blind spots can be held liable if they plow into another car. If you’re in traffic, it may not be possible to get out of a truck’s no-zones. Your best option is to slow down and get out of the way as soon as traffic clears up.
- Improper passing in front of a truck: Be very careful when passing an 18-wheeler or any large truck. Make sure you can see the whole truck before moving over.
- Passing on the right side: The blind spot on the right side of a truck is the largest and most dangerous. Don’t pass on the right.
- Weather conditions: Sometimes a driver’s view is obstructed due to conditions beyond his or her control. Weather conditions like rain or fog make it more difficult for drivers to verify that their blind spots are clear.
It may not be immediately clear that a failure to check a blind spot is the cause of a truck wreck. However, a truck accident lawyer can investigate the crash, gather evidence, and consult with accident reconstruction specialists to gather evidence to support your claim for compensation.
Common Types of Truck Blind Spot Accidents
A large majority of truck blind spot accidents occur when a trucker changes lanes while a vehicle is beside them. When this happens, the smaller vehicle is pushed out of the lane, often into other lanes of traffic or off the road. Other common types of blind spot crashes include:
- Rollover accidents: Trucks have a higher center of gravity than other vehicles. As a result, they can roll over in just about any type of crash, including a blind spot accident. In these collisions, the trucker, the occupants of the car in the blind spot, and any other nearby motorists could get hurt by the rolling truck.
- Underride accidents: When a driver is in the rear blind spot of a truck and the trucker needs to brake suddenly, the driver of a tailgating vehicle may not have enough time to come to a full stop. This can cause an underride accident, in which the smaller vehicle slides into the undercarriage of the truck. Underride crashes frequently cause catastrophic injuries and death.
- Override crashes: A trucker that follows too closely or a driver who cuts in front of a big rig both run the risk of causing an override crash. In these wrecks, the truck rides on top of the other vehicle, potentially crushing occupants beneath.
- Cyclist and pedestrian accidents: If it’s difficult for a truck driver to see a car, it’s nearly impossible for them to spot a smaller cyclist or pedestrian when they need to make a turn or change lanes. Nevertheless, they’re trained to look out for all potential hazards. If their failure to spot a bicyclist or pedestrian results in injuries, they could be held liable.
A truck blind spot accident can happen anywhere. However, they are more common in intersections, roundabouts, and multi-lane roads because drivers have reduced visibility in these areas.
Blind Spot Crash Statistics
Blind spot accidents are much more common than people think. Recent statistics show:
- Almost 840,000 blind spot accidents occur every year in the United States.
- Blind spot accidents are responsible for 300 deaths per year.
- In 14 percent of truck accidents in a recent year, at least one noted cause was attributed to a trucker that failed to check his or her blind spots.
- Blind spot detection technology has been shown to reduce the chance of lane-change accidents by 18 percent.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), blind spot detection technology could have prevented 39,000 blind spot accidents in a recent year. These crashes resulted in 79 deaths and 2,000 injuries.
Like newer passenger vehicles, commercial trucks are also equipped with blind spot monitoring. This can help drivers maneuver quickly to avoid crashes. However, like all new technologies, blind spot detection should not be the only way that drivers ensure that their blind spots are clear when driving.
Contact a Lancaster, S.C. Blind Spot Truck Accident Lawyer
All drivers are taught that vehicles have blind spots. That means that they have a duty to check that those areas are safe whenever they need to move in traffic.
Truck drivers are held to a higher standard. As the operators of vehicles weighing as much as 80,000 pounds, they are specially trained and licensed to recognize their blind spots and abide by the rules of the road. If you’ve been injured in an accident with a tractor trailer in South Carolina, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost income, lost earning capacity, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
Talk to a Lancaster truck accident attorney at David Blackwell Law today. Our dedicated legal team provides top-quality legal services to South Carolinians just like you. We’ll investigate your claim, review the facts, and push for full and fair compensation for your truck accident injury.
It’s easy to learn whether you have a case. Call or contact us to arrange a free consultation.