Truck Blind Spot Accidents in Pasadena, CA
Commercial trucks have expansive blind spots that make it difficult for drivers to see vehicles around them. While truck drivers are specially trained to be aware of these areas, not all truckers exercise the proper care and caution that they should.
If you were injured in a Pasadena truck blind spot accident, you could be entitled to fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, vehicle damage, and more. Contact the Pasadena truck accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Pius Joseph for a no-obligation, no-cost case review today.
What Are Blind Spots?
Blind spots are the areas around the outside of a vehicle that are hidden from a trucker’s view when they are seated in a normal driving position inside the cab. External mirrors allow drivers to extend their range of vision, but the structure of a tractor-trailer inevitably blocks certain areas from view.
All motor vehicles have blind spots. But commercial trucks are significantly taller, wider, and longer than standard passenger vehicles, so semi-truck blind spots are correspondingly larger. Truck drivers have no way of seeing everything around their rigs at all times, but they have a duty to take their blind spots into account before making lane changes or other road maneuvers. Neglecting that responsibility increases the likelihood of a blind spot accident.
Causes of Blind Spot Crashes
Nearly all truck accidents are due to multiple contributing factors. But when it comes to truck blind-spot accidents, driver negligence is by far the most common cause.
Types of driver negligence that may lead to blind spot truck collisions include:
- Impaired driving – Drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs have more difficulty staying alert behind the wheel, making them more likely to overlook road users in their blind spots.
- Fatigued driving – Drowsy driving is a documented problem in the trucking industry. When drivers skip mandatory rest breaks, fatigue can decrease their awareness and driving quality, putting others in harm’s way.
- Distracted driving – When truck drivers focus on text messages, phone conversations, or other distractions, there’s a greater chance they will forget to check their blind spots and cause a collision.
- Aggressive driving – Speeding, lane weaving, and tailgating often leave drivers with less time to register others in their blind spots or adjust course quickly enough to prevent crashes. When the reckless driver is behind the wheel of an 80,000-pound truck, the consequences of a crash could be deadly.
- Driver inexperience – Unqualified or inexperienced truck drivers are less likely to check their blind spots regularly.
Common Types of Truck Blind Spot Accidents
Depending on the location of other vehicles in a commercial truck’s blind spots, any of the following types of blind spot accidents may occur:
- Rear-end collisions – A rear blind-spot accident may happen if a truck follows another motorist too closely and negligently accelerates into their back end. Alternatively, a rear-end truck accident could occur when motorists behind the big rig follow too closely. A truck’s rear blind spot extends as far as 30 feet behind the trailer, so be sure to leave extra room if you’re stuck behind a big rig in traffic.
- Sideswipe accidents – Sideswipes can occur when other motorists linger in blind spots along the left-or right-hand side of a large truck. If a trucker moves to change lanes or drifts out of their lane while distracted, they run the risk of sideswiping a vehicle in their blind spot.
- Underride/override accidents – A truck driver who cannot see a neighboring car may run over or under them, causing horrific override or underride wrecks. These crashes can result in catastrophic injuries and death.
Where Are the Blind Spots Around a Truck?
There are four major blind spots, or “No Zones,” around the outside of a large commercial truck where other road users disappear from a driver’s view:
- Front No Zone – Many trucks have large front-end “noses” that partially obstruct the driver’s view of the road ahead. The front No Zone can extend as far as 20 feet in front of a truck’s cab.
- Right No Zone – The largest blind spot for truckers is on the right side of their rigs. It extends at a rearward angle behind the right side-view mirror and spans across as many as three lanes of traffic.
- Left No Zone – Left-hand blind spots are smaller on a semi-truck but can still cover two traffic lanes starting just behind the left-side mirror.
- Rear No Zone – Commercial trucks do not have rearview mirrors, and drivers cannot see directly behind them when towing trailers. The rear No Zone can extend as far as 30 feet behind the back of a truck’s trailer.
As a general guideline, assume that if you can’t see a truck driver in their side mirrors, they can’t see you.
Blind Spot Truck Accident Statistics
The following truck blind spot statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shed light on the nature and frequency of blind spot truck accidents in California and throughout the United States:
- Around 64 percent of all fatal truck crashes are front-end crashes, such as rear-end and head-on collisions.
- Five percent of fatal truck accidents involve right-side impacts, such as sideswipe or T-bone accidents.
- Roughly 11 percent of all truck crashes involving fatalities occur on the left side of a truck.
- Approximately 20 percent of all fatal truck crashes involve impacts with the rear end of a tractor-trailer.
Who Is at Fault for a Truck Accident Caused by a Blind Spot?
In most cases, negligent truck drivers are responsible for blind spot truck accidents. Commercial drivers must undergo extensive training to learn how to operate such giant vehicles, including how to monitor their blind spots to avoid accidents.
When a failure to adequately check blind spots results in a truck accident, drivers are typically held responsible for their negligence.
However, other parties may share a portion of the blame for a blind spot truck accident. Negligent motorists may be partially at fault if they violate traffic laws in a way that puts other road users in risky positions in a truck’s blind spot.
Trucking companies may also bear vicarious responsibility if they knowingly hire unqualified or untrained truck drivers who cause blind spot wrecks.
Contact Our Experienced Pasadena Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Identifying who is responsible for a blind spot truck accident is a job for an experienced attorney. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a wreck, let a Pasadena truck accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Pius Joseph investigate your case and push for the maximum compensation you deserve. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.