Who May Be at Fault for a Blind-Spot Crash with a Commercial Truck?
Drivers should always check their blind spots before changing lanes, particularly when they are driving large vehicles like commercial trucks. The larger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot and the more damage that can occur if the large vehicle crashes into a significantly smaller one.
However, given the fact that drivers should know commercial trucks have large blind spots, can they be held partially at fault for blind-spot crashes with commercial trucks? Or do truck drivers bear most of the responsibility for preventing a blind-spot crash?
Victims of truck accidents can greatly benefit from experienced legal representation. At TSR Injury Law, we have been helping motor vehicle crash victims for decades. Our firm has secured more than $300 million in compensation on behalf of our clients. There are no upfront fees for our services, which means there is no risk in working with us.
Fault for Commercial Truck Blind-Spot Crashes
While each accident is unique, commercial truck drivers are often the ones held liable for these crashes. You have a right to be in a lane and other drivers can only come over into your lane if they can do so safely without causing an accident.
Truck drivers are responsible for checking their blind spots just as drivers of other vehicles are responsible for checking their blind spots. Truck drivers need to use their mirrors and other technology in their vehicles to determine if a vehicle is in a blind spot. Truck drivers also need to be aware of the amount of traffic around them and take their time to make sure it is safe to change lanes before doing so.
Truck drivers are also likely to be held liable for a blind-spot crash if it happened while they were:
- Tired or fatigued
- Impaired by drugs and/or alcohol
In some situations, it is possible the driver failed to properly adjust his or her mirrors to reduce blind spots as much as possible. Maybe the truck did not have the appropriate mirrors to allow drivers to see around the truck as much as possible.
If you were to speed into a blind spot as a truck is already changing lanes, and the truck driver used his or her turn signal, you may be partially at fault for damages you may suffer if a crash happens. The same could be said if you drifted into a blind spot because you were distracted, and the truck driver was being cautious about changing lanes.
In some cases, another party may be at fault. For example, maybe the truck had video or sensor technology that was supposed to alert him or her to vehicles in blind spots and the equipment failed. In that case, the manufacturer of the equipment or the party responsible for maintaining that equipment may bear some amount of liability for the crash.
Where Are the Blind Spots Around Commercial Trucks?
Commercial trucks are not only longer than other vehicles, but drivers are also higher up than drivers of traditional passenger vehicles. This creates huge blind spots that drivers cannot see, even with their mirrors adjusted appropriately.
One of those blind spots is 20 feet in front of the truck. Drivers cannot see anyone or anything in that 20-foot zone. If the truck is right behind you or behind you in the lane to your right or left, the driver cannot see you.
There is also a blind spot 30 feet behind the trailer. In other words, if you are within 30 feet of the rear of the trailer, the driver is unable to see you.
There is another blind spot between the driver’s door and the back of the truck and another from the right side of the cab to the two lanes to the right of the truck.
One useful way to think about commercial truck blind spots is that the driver cannot see you unless you can see the driver in his or her side mirror.
Dangers of Blind-Spot Crashes
Any crash with a commercial truck can be very dangerous. However, blind-spot crashes have the potential to be deadly. If a truck sideswipes you, your car could get run off the road or into other vehicles. This could also happen if you get rear-ended by a commercial truck. The truck could also run your car over if it is behind you and your vehicle is in the blind spot in the front of the truck.
Need Help Following a Truck Crash? Call TSR Right Away
Whether you have questions about the validity of your case, a settlement offer you received, the potential value of your case or anything else following a truck crash, TSR Injury Law’s experienced Bloomington truck accident lawyers may be able to help.
We have extensive knowledge of the many factors involved in these cases and can provide answers to your questions to help you make an informed decision about what to do next. Schedule an initial consultation with one of our licensed attorneys to learn more about how we may be able to help.
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