Truck Blind Spots: Who is Liable for an Accident?
Motor Vehicles Accidents - April 23, 2021
Operating around large commercial trucks on the roadway can be a somewhat scary experience. In general, most passenger vehicle drivers try to stay away from larger trucks on the road, but that is not always a possibility. There are times when smaller passenger vehicles get into a truck’s blind spots, and this can lead to catastrophic accidents. Here, discuss who may hold liability in the event an accident happens because there was a vehicle in a large truck’s blind spot.
Where are a Truck’s Blind Spots?
If you guessed that large commercial trucks also have large blind spots, then you would be 100% correct. Even though every vehicle has blind spots, the reality is that truck blind spots can pose significant threats to those on the roadway. The blind spots of trucks are referred to as “No-Zones.” These are areas where the driver cannot see other vehicles at all. According to data available from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), we can see that these zones exist directly in front of and behind a large truck as well as along both sides of the truck.
Who is Liable for a Truck Blind Spot Accident?
Accidents occurring in a truck’s blind spot occur regularly. When these incidents do occur, it will not be uncommon for the truck driver or trucking company to try and argue that the passenger vehicle driver was at fault for the incident because they were operating their vehicle inside the truck’s blind spot.
Yes, it is true that if a motorist stays inside of a truck’s blind spot, the odds of a crash occurring increase. However, there are no specific laws that say a driver cannot operate their vehicle inside of a commercial truck’s “No-Zones,” though it is strongly discouraged.
If a collision is because a truck driver struck a vehicle inside the truck’s blind spots, the truck driver may be at fault if they failed to check these areas before changing lanes, making a turn, or speeding up.
Most Common Causes of Truck Blind Spot Accidents
There are various ways that truck blind spot accidents occur. In general, we will see that these incidents occur because a truck’s driver did not see a smaller passenger vehicle in the blind spot when they were changing lanes or making a turn. However, there are various other causes of blind spot accidents, including the following:
- Other vehicles following a truck too closely or a truck following a passenger vehicle too closely (tailgating)
- Passenger vehicles purposely traveling in a truck’s blind spots
- The truck driver completely disregarding surrounding traffic when making lane changes or making a turn
- Aggressive behavior on the part of the truck driver, including slamming on brakes in an attempt to get a driver to back off or even cutting off other vehicles on the roadway
Truck Blind Spot Accidents can Lead to Severe Injuries
Accidents involving large commercial trucks can result in severe injuries for those involved. Fully loaded commercial trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, and it is not uncommon for those involved in these incidents to sustain the following injuries:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken or dislocated bones
- Severe lacerations or puncture wounds
- Amputations or crush injuries
- Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
- Significant scarring or disfigurement
In order for crash victims to secure the compensation they deserve, it is critical for liability to be properly determined. All victims should work with a truck accident attorney in Chicago who can conduct a complete investigation into the case, properly assess liability, and secure the compensation their client needs.