All vehicles have blind spots that reduce visibility in front, back and to the sides. When drivers fail to check their blind spots before changing lanes, they can cause serious accidents. The same is true for commercial truck drivers. The larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spot and the more damage that can happen if the larger vehicle hits a smaller, passenger vehicle.
Since commercial truck drivers and other drivers sharing the road can take steps to prevent a blind spot accident, you may have questions about who may be at fault or share responsibility for these accidents. Below, we discuss blind-spot accidents with commercial trucks in greater detail.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck-related accident, Sigman Janssen is here to help. Our firm has a proven track record, recovering millions in compensation on our clients’ behalf. The initial consultation comes at no risk, cost or obligation to you. There are no upfront fees unless we win.
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Where Are a Commercial Truck’s Blind Spots?
Commercial trucks have four blind spots known as “No-Zones.” If you drive within these blind spots, the truck driver cannot see your vehicle. The truck driver may turn or change lanes directly into the path of your vehicle.
Blind spots on a commercial truck exist:
- Up to 20 feet in front of the truck
- Anywhere on either side of the truck
- Up to 200 feet behind the truck
To be as safe as possible, it is important to not be in a blind spot too long. Change lanes, slow down, or speed up – without going over the posted speed limit – to help increase your visibility. If you cannot see a commercial truck driver in your rear-view mirror, the driver likely cannot see you.
Causes of Blind-Spot Accidents with Commercial Trucks
Blind-spot accidents with commercial trucks often occur when truck drivers try to change lanes or merge. A passenger vehicle may get sideswiped or crushed because of the weight of the truck. Side collisions can happen when a truck driver fails to pay careful attention to his or her surroundings.
Perhaps a commercial truck started to move into a lane and another driver occupying the lane was unable to slow down to avoid an accident. The driver may have had to swerve or move into another lane but ended up hitting another vehicle. On smaller, two-lane roadways, a driver may have had to swerve into a lane of oncoming traffic. The result in these situations can be catastrophic.
If a truck driver is following a vehicle too closely, he or she likely cannot see it. The truck may rear-end the vehicle, sending the vehicle into another lane of traffic or off the road, causing severe injuries.
Assessing Fault for These Types of Accidents
Many truck-related accidents, including blind-spot accidents, are due to a truck driver’s negligence. For instance, a truck driver may cause a blind-spot accident because he or she was:
- Overly tired or fatigued
- Intoxicated due to drugs or alcohol
- Negligent in checking blind spots before making a maneuver
- Negligent in keeping a proper lookout for other vehicles
- Not properly trained or qualified to drive the truck
- Negligent in aligning the mirrors to reduce blind spots
- Driving a truck without the necessary mirrors
Aside from the truck driver, there could be other parties responsible for causing the accident.
A trucking company may be found partially at fault for failing to properly hire, train and supervise its employees. This includes failing to repair or install the necessary mirrors to avoid a blind-spot accident.
A truck driver’s employer could also be at fault for allowing him or her to operate a commercial vehicle without the appropriate qualifications. Product manufacturers may even be liable for defects in the design or manufacturing of a collision avoidance system or blind-spot monitoring system.
Can Victims Be Found Partially Responsible?
Victims may be found partially responsible for the accident if they could have sped up or slowed down so that the truck driver could see them. Even if you did everything possible to get out of a commercial truck’s blind spot, the truck driver still needs to be cautious when changing lanes or merging.
It is important to note that truck drivers have a responsibility to others sharing the road to operate a commercial vehicle in a safe manner. This means using their mirrors or using collision avoidance technology to help prevent a blind-spot accident.
Let Our Lawyers Help You After a Truck-Related Accident
If you need legal help after an accident, we recommend reaching out to one of our qualified Oshkosh truck accident lawyers. We can review your situation and discuss your available legal options during a risk-free, zero-obligation consultation. We have been helping car accident victims for many years.
Talk to a lawyer today. Ph: (920) 328-0700.