Many serious crashes occur due to truck blind spots. The sheer size of large trucks creates blind spots on all sides of the vehicle, making it difficult for truck drivers to see other vehicles.
If you can’t see a truck driver in the truck’s side view mirror, the truck driver likely can’t see you either. When an 80,000-pound 18-wheeler changes lanes, for instance, and you are in the truck driver’s blind spot, a collision could be devastating.
If you have been injured in a blind spot truck accident in Georgia, contact the truck accident attorneys at Spiva Law Group. Our Georgia personal injury attorneys have been fighting for full and fair compensation for victims of truck accidents for nearly 30 years.
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Truck Blind Spots
Large trucks have several massive blind spots. The three main types of truck blind spots, or “no-zones,” are:
- Side No-Zone – Blind spots for trucks are worse on the sides. The blind spot on the right side of a truck can run the entire length of the trailer. Due to this large blind spot, drivers are always advised to always pass trucks on the left. While there is a blind spot there as well, truck drivers are trained to expect passing motorists there.
- Rear No-Zone – This blind spot extends almost 200 feet from the back of the truck. When motorists follow trucks too closely, it can be difficult for the truck driver to see them. Therefore, it’s important to stay far enough behind so the trucker can see you in the side-view mirrors.
- Front No-Zone – Because truck drivers sit in elevated cabs, they typically cannot see objects that are close in front of them. If a motorist gets too close, the hood of the truck may block them from view. This blind spot typically extends about 20 feet ahead of the truck. Merging directly in front of a truck may put you at serious risk for a collision.
While it’s impossible to completely avoid driving near large trucks throughout Georgia, especially in urban areas, you can protect yourself by staying out of the truck blind spots as much as possible.
Common Truck Blind Spot Accidents
Rear-end and sideswipe collisions are some of the most common accidents that occur because of truck blind spots. If a truck driver cannot see a car in front of them, they may not be able to stop in time or at all, colliding with the rear end of that vehicle. If a truck driver stops suddenly and a car is tailgating, the car behind may collide with the rear of the truck.
Many truck blind spot accidents occur when a truck changes lanes. The truck may strike the side of the vehicle, perhaps sending it into another lane of traffic or off the road.
Blind spot accidents commonly occur on roundabouts, intersections, and multi-lane roads due to the reduced visibility.
Examples of some common accidents that occur due to truck blind spots include:
- Side-to-side collisions
- Rollover accidents
- Underride accidents
- Cyclist and pedestrian accidents
- Front-to-rear collisions
Blind Spot Accident Statistics
Nearly 840,000 blind spot accidents occur each year in the United States resulting in 300 deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In one recent year, 4,889 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes, a 9% increase from the previous year, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The number of large trucks and buses in fatal crashes has increased by 42 percent from its low of 3,432 in 2009.
FMSCA’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study looked at a nationwide sample of 967 crashes, all of which involved at least one truck. In 14% of the accidents, at least one cause was the driver’s failure to check blind spots properly.
About 1 in 10 highway deaths occurs in a crash involving a large truck, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Each year about 384,000 crashes involve large trucks.
A study by the IIHS found that a combination of four crash avoidance features (blind spot detection, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and vehicle stability control) has the potential to prevent 28% of all large truck crashes.
Of the four technologies, the IIHS said blind spot detection is the most promising new feature for preventing large truck crashes of any severity. Of the 97,000 annual large truck crashes involving intentional lane changes, blind spot detection technologies could prevent nearly 39,000 of them, including 2,000 that result in injury and 79 that cause deaths.
How to Avoid Truck Blind Spots
Drivers should take extra care when passing and being passed by trucks. Do your best to stay out of truck’s blind spots when the truck is turning, backing up, or changing lanes. Trucks need longer following distance to see the cars behind them.
Motorists should observe the following safety tips when sharing the road with trucks:
- Stay out of the no-zones. Large trucks have massive blind spots on all four sides. Avoid driving in the truck’s blind spots by slowing down or accelerating to stay visible. Be sure to be extra careful when merging.
- Pass safely. Always pass a big truck on the left instead of the right. While both sides have blind spots, truck drivers are expecting other drivers to pass on the left, which means they are more likely to take evasive action into a right-side lane, potentially resulting in a collision for drivers attempting to pass on that side.
- Don’t cut it close. Cutting off a large truck is very dangerous. When you move in quickly, you’ll likely be in one of the truck’s blind spots. Even if the trucker can see you, they may not be able to slow down in time because of the distance it takes to stop a heavy truck.
- Stay back. Tailgating a truck puts you in a blind spot. Because trucks are so high off the ground, your vehicle could slide under a truck in a crash.
- Anticipate wide turns. Trucks take extremely wide turns, so they need extra turning room. Give trucks extra space. Trucks have a turning radius of around 55 feet. When a truck is making a turn, never try to squeeze by or get between a turning truck and the curb.
Keeping these five tips in mind when driving near large trucks will significantly reduce your risk of danger. Use common sense on the road. Check your mirrors often and be alert at all times.
How Can Spiva Law Help Me After a Blind Spot Accident was Caused By a Truck?
At the Spiva Law Group, our experienced Georgia truck accident lawyers have been seeking compensation for truck crash victims for more than 30 years. If you have been injured in a blind spot truck accident in Georgia, contact our truck accident attorneys today.
Our team of experienced Georgia personal injury attorneys is ready to thoroughly investigate your accident and injuries. We will fight insurance companies that try to deny the full and fair compensation you deserve.
At Spiva Law Group, we do not charge anything to start working on your claim, and we only get paid if you win your case. Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.