Truck accidents are among the most dangerous kinds of vehicle collisions that take place on U.S. roadways. What makes these incidents so dangerous is often related to the size and weight of these commercial trucks.
One factor that can contribute to a crash are the large blind spots on 18-wheelers.
Blind spot truck accidents are far from uncommon. If you find yourself involved in one of these accidents, the trucker or truck company may be liable for your losses. Our dedicated Houston truck accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns, PLLC, can help you make a strong case for compensation.
Today, we will discuss blind spot truck accidents and how to avoid them.
How Common Are Blind Spot Truck Accidents in Texas
Unfortunately, there is limited data when it comes to determining how common blind spot accidents are in Texas specifically. While the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) does keep track of the factors involved in Texas crashes, blind spot crashes may fall into a number of different categories: limited visibility, changed lanes when unsafe, and failed to pass safely, among others.
On a national level, while blind spot truck accidents are a serious problem, they actually don’t fall in the top causes of truck accidents: tire and brake defects, heavy loads, speed, and maneuverability.
Nevertheless, these accidents are far from rare. According to statistics from the United States Department of Transportation, an average year might see 413,000 accidents and 160,000 fatalities related to truck blind spots.
Why Blind Spot Truck Accidents Happen
There are many ways that a truck’s blind spots can lead to potentially deadly accidents. First, a car driver may tailgate or hide in a trucker’s blind spots, effectively making it impossible for the trucker to take their presence into account. This may lead to a car ramming into the rear end of a truck that stops suddenly.
However, trucks and truck drivers themselves can also contribute to blind spot crashes. A truck driver may not be trained sufficiently to safely drive a vehicle with large blind spots; they may fail to check their mirrors and surroundings before making a maneuver; they may not have access to sufficient mirrors; they may not have collision warning systems in place; and they may drive while tired or distracted.
In these cases, the trucker or truck company may be at fault for your crash. That liability may be difficult to prove, but the right truck accident attorney can help you make a solid argument.
Where Are Truck Blind Spots?
While all vehicles have blind spots, truck blind spots are comparatively massive. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truck blind spots extend out from all four sides of the truck.
In front of a truck, there is a 20-foot blind spot caused by the truck’s height and hood. Behind a truck, there is an even larger blind spot of 30 feet. To the left of the truck, there is a one-lane blind spot between the driver’s side window and halfway point of the trailer. On the right, there is a two-lane blind spot between the front of the cab and beginning of the trailer. Both the left and right blind spots extend out and behind the truck.
Here is FMCSA’s visual representation of these no-go zones:
As you can see, these blind spots extend for a considerable distance in all directions.
How to Avoid Blind Spot Truck Accidents
First, you should familiarize yourself with the truck blind spots shown above. Once you’ve done that, remember to take extra care when passing trucks on the road. Avoid truck blind spots if possible, and stay out of these areas while a truck is turning, changing lanes, or reversing.
Trucks also need greater following distance than other vehicles. If you can’t see the trucker in any of their mirrors, then they can’t see you either.
If you do find yourself driving in a trucker’s blind spot, try to move out of that zone as soon as possible without making any risky maneuvers.
Involved in a Blind Spot Truck Accident? Houston Truck Accident Attorneys Can Assist You
Truck accidents can result in extensive losses due to the weight of damage these massive vehicles can cause. If you’ve been involved in a blind spot truck accident, you may be facing whopping expenses.
Despite this, there may still be hope. If your crash was caused by the actions or negligence of someone else, you may be owed compensation for those losses. Our team of Houston truck accident lawyers would be honored to fight for you in a court of law or insurance negotiations.
If you’ve been involved in a Texas blind spot truck accident, contact the Houston truck accident attorneys of Lapeze and Johns for help!