It is impossible to avoid 18-wheelers and other large trucks when you drive regularly. Semi-trucks are one of the most common ways that we transport products across the state and nation. They are constantly on highways and in some cases, in-town roads. You may spot one or a few trucks every time you get behind the wheel. Since semi-trucks are so commonplace, it is essential you understand how to share the road with them. If you know little to nothing about how semis work and move, you are more likely to be in an accident. For instance, you should know about trucker blind spots and always avoid driving in them.
However, you cannot always avoid a truck accident. Many crashes occur because of the trucker or another driver’s actions. In these situations, you have every right to pursue compensation from the at-fault party. Contact our Houston truck accident attorneys at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. to learn more about your rights following a truck accident.
Call (281) 283-8500 today for a free and confidential consultation.
The Dangers of Blind Spots
Every vehicle has blind spots – those areas that drivers cannot see. For smaller vehicles, like the family sedan, blind spots are not too bad. They exist, but with properly positioned mirrors and back up cameras, drivers can easily avoid blind spot accidents. However, for truckers, blind spots are significant. At any given time, there are tens of feet surrounding the truck that the drivers cannot see. Entire vehicles can hide in one blind spot, which means there is the potential for truckers to not be able to see multiple vehicles riding next to them on the road. And when truckers cannot see other vehicles, accidents happen.
Truck Blind Spots
Trucks have five separate blind spots where truckers will have trouble seeing vehicles, cyclists, or pedestrians:
- Directly behind the trailer
- To the right of the trailer, behind where the driver sits
- Directly in front of the cab
- To the right of the cab, in front of where the driver sits
- To the right of the cab and trailer, extending backward
It is essential that you realize these blind spots are not a few feet each. All of these blind spots can extend dozens of feet, hiding five or more vehicles on the side of them.
How to Avoid Truck Blind Spots
Theoretically, knowing that you should not drive in a trucker’s blind spots and knowing how to really avoid doing so are two different things. Once you know where the blind spots are, you have to make a conscious effort not to drive in them.
You can avoid truck blind spots by:
- Not following a truck too closely. Leave multiple vehicle lengths between you and the end of a trailer.
- Not remaining in front of a truck that is tailgating you. If a truck is not keeping multiple vehicle lengths between the front of its cab and your back bumper, switch lanes when it is safe to do so.
- Looking for the truck’s mirrors. If you are driving directly to the right or left of a trailer and cannot see the truck’s mirrors, then the trucker cannot see you. When it is safe to do so, slow down to drive further behind the truck or speed up to pass the truck.
- Not driving directly to the right of a truck’s cab.
Blind Spot Accidents
Dealing with blind spots as a driver can be tricky. You are not necessarily being negligent for driving in a truck’s blind spot if you are doing everything else lawfully and safely. Depending on traffic, you may not have a choice of where you are in comparison to the truck in the next lane. This is why, when you are injured in a blind-spot-related truck accident, it may not be your fault. It is up to the trucker to keep track of their blind spots and the surrounding traffic. If a truck collided with you because it rear-ended you or merged into your lane, then you may have evidence the trucker was careless or reckless while behind the wheel. This may give you the right to file a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit for compensation.
Let Our Houston Personal Injury Lawyers Help You
If you were injured in a trucking accident, contact the experienced attorneys at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. right away. Truck accident claims work differently than car accident claims. You need an attorney who will immediately seek to preserve evidence and knows how to conduct an in-depth investigation into what happened. It may take hiring expert witnesses and going through weeks or months of discovery to uncover the underlying cause of the accident and who is liable.
Let us help you recover the damages that you are entitled to under the law. Contact us online or call (281) 283-8500 to schedule an initial consultation.