A Comprehensive Guide to Truck Blind Spots
A passenger car that’s traveling 65 mph needs about 300 feet to stop. But a fully loaded big rig truck going the same speed takes twice as long to stop, about 600 feet. That’s two football fields!
Because a truck weighs up to 40 tons, it can do tremendous damage when it collides with a pedestrian, a cyclist, a motorcycle, or a regular passenger vehicle.
Trucking companies should only hire experienced employees with safe driving records. But some firms try to save time and money by hiring inexperienced drivers, failing to check their DMV records, and refusing to provide them with the training they need.
Safe and experienced truckers take special precautions to avoid accidents. This includes making allowances for the truck’s blind spots by avoiding sudden lane changes.
It’s important to remain cautious whenever you’re driving around trucks because you never know when the driver might suddenly merge into your lane.
Where Are the Truck’s Blind Spots?
All cars and trucks have blind spots, which are areas around the vehicle where the driver cannot see. A truck has huge blind spots because it’s so much larger than a regular passenger vehicle and it sits higher off the ground,
A truck’s blind spots include:
- In front of the cab. From the driver’s elevated position, they are unable to see what’s going on right in front of the cab for about 30 feet. You’ll want to be at least two car lengths in front of a truck before merging in front of it. And make sure not to slow down after you make the lane change.
- Driver’s side. This blind spot extends out from the driver’s door diagonally at a 45-degree angle towards the mid-section. It can be up to three lanes across.
- Passenger side. This is the largest and most dangerous truck blind spot. It extends from the front of the truck all the way to the rear for up to three lanes.
- Behind the truck. This blind spot extends up to 30 feet directly behind the truck.
Staying Safe Around Trucks
It’s a good idea to avoid trucks as much as possible while driving on the highway. When you’re behind a truck, it limits your visibility, making it harder to see upcoming hazards in the road.
Follow these tips to stay as safe as possible around trucks:
- Don’t follow too closely.
- Don’t linger in a truck’s blind spot.
- Signal lane changes 5 seconds in advance.
- Never assume that a truck driver can see you.
- Be particularly cautious when passing a truck on the right.
What Causes Blind Spot Accidents?
Trucks can be unpredictable. Drivers are often fatigued from working long hours. Even though there are strict federal hours of service (HOS) regulations against driving too many hours in a day, these laws are often ignored by truckers and their employers.
Like other drivers, truckers can become distracted, but a moment of inattention can have tragic consequences. Truck drivers must remain alert and in control at all times. Substance abuse, failure to obey the law, and impatience are all factors that increase the chances that a careless trucker will merge into your lane without warning.
Circumstances that contribute to trucker blind spot accidents include:
- Inadequate training
- Negligent hiring
- Unsafe lane changes
- Distracted driving
Injuries Caused by Blind Spot Accidents
A truck’s colossal size and extended stopping distance cause catastrophic injuries when it collides with a smaller vehicle. You may require a lengthy period of medical treatment and rehabilitation before you’re able to resume your regular activities. And some types of accidents, such as spinal cord damage, can drastically alter your life.
Truck accident injuries that we encounter with our clients at DK Law include:
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Bone fractures
- Crush injuries
- Internal organ bleeding
- Neck and back injuries
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
How Your Houston Truck Accident Attorney Can Help
The insurance companies know that truck accidents cause severe hardship and astronomical medical bills. But they’re always trying to save money, so the insurance agent will probably offer you a lump sum that isn’t nearly enough to cover your expenses.
A Houston truck accident lawyer at DK Law will file a claim with the insurance company that includes the following types of expenses:
- Current and future medical bills
- Lost earning capacity
- Medical devices
- Pain and suffering
- Occupational therapy
- Time missed from work
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Wheelchair access for your home and vehicle
- Wrongful death
Schedule a FREE Consultation Today
At DK Law, we’ve won millions of dollars in settlements for our clients. Our founder Mr. Khosravian was selected as one of the National Trial Lawyers’ Top 40 Under 40 and he’s a lifetime member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Call (281) 402-8856 or contact our Houston area office online to learn more today.