Like all vehicles, commercial trucks have blind spots that require special attention on the road. However, the blind spots on a large truck are huge — so large and so dangerous that they’ve earned the nickname “No-Zones.” Both truck drivers and other motorists must maintain constant vigilance to avoid blind spot accidents. When someone is negligent, the resulting collisions can be disastrous.
Were you injured in a Los Angeles blind spot truck accident? You could be entitled to significant financial compensation for your injuries and other losses. But truck accident claims present unique legal challenges compared to the average car crash. Working with a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer at Custodio & Dubey LLP can protect your rights to maximum compensation.
Our legal team has more than 40 years of experience serving injury victims throughout California. Let us help you, too. Contact us today to speak with an accomplished truck accident lawyer.
What Are Blind Spots?
A blind spot is any area around the outside of a vehicle where a driver has limited or no visibility. All motor vehicles have blind spots, but the blind spots on a commercial truck are the largest.
Most vehicles are equipped with rearview and side-view mirrors that decrease blind spots and help drivers keep an eye on problem areas. Newer vehicles also have backup cameras, electronic sensors, and other features that further reduce the risk of blind spot accidents.
However, many 18-wheelers lack the features and devices designed to minimize or eliminate blind spots on the road. Most trucks do not have rearview mirrors, which means drivers can’t see directly behind them. Even drivers who increase their range of visibility with extended side-view mirrors are often still blind to many critical areas around the sides of their trucks.
Blind spot sensors, backup cameras, and other safety features are becoming more common among large commercial trucks. However, they are still far from standard. Depending on the shape, size, and equipment of a particular truck, its blind spots may span the entire length of the truck and stretch across multiple lanes to either side.
Causes of Blind Spot Crashes in Los Angeles
Most truck accidents have several contributing factors. When it comes to blind spot truck accidents, though, truck driver negligence is nearly always involved. The most common types of driver negligence that lead to blind spot truck crashes include:
- Distracted driving: If a truck driver is texting, eating, or adjusting control knobs, their attention is not where it should be. A distracted trucker is much less likely to notice other vehicles drifting in or out of their blind spots.
- Driving under the influence: Alcohol and drugs can negatively impact a driver’s ability to perceive or avoid road obstacles. Intoxicated truck drivers can’t be trusted to maintain focus on their blind spots or the road around them.
- Aggressive driving: Truck drivers who speed, weave between lanes, or tailgate are less likely to pay attention to their blind spots. Aggressive drivers frequently fail to leave themselves enough time to react or recognize when others are in their blind spots.
- Driver fatigue: Drowsy drivers are more likely to forget to check their blind spots before making a maneuver. This can increase the risk of turning or merging accidents.
- Driver inexperience: A new or poorly trained trucker has a greater likelihood of committing driving errors. When drivers fail to leave themselves enough following distance or check their surroundings, they can miss seeing neighboring drivers in their blind spots.
Common Types of Blind Spot Truck Accidents
Trucks have blind spots on all four sides of the vehicle. This means that they can result in a wide range of collisions, such as:
- Rear-end crashes: A rear-end truck accident can occur if a negligent truck driver follows another vehicle too closely. Vehicles that are too close to the front end of a large truck can become lost and impossible to see in the truck’s front blind spot.
- Sideswipe collisions: If a truck driver fails to check along the sides of their rig before merging or turning, they can miss vehicles in the left or right-hand blind spots. This can lead to dangerous sideswipe collisions in which the side of a truck or its trailer strikes the side of a nearby car.
- Underride accidents: These catastrophic accidents occur when smaller vehicles become lodged underneath a truck or its trailer. Motorists who follow a truck too closely are in the truck’s rear blind spot and virtually invisible to the truck driver. If the trucker needs to brake suddenly, drivers run the risk of being involved in underride crashes.
- T-bone collisions: Failure to check the front blind spot before hitting the gas at a traffic light or stop sign can lead to smaller vehicles being broadsided by the forward momentum of a tractor-trailer.
Where Are the Blind Spots Around a Truck?
It’s extremely dangerous to remain in the blind spots around a large commercial truck. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) urges motorists to avoid the No-Zones at all costs. The four primary blind spots around a big rig truck are located:
- Front: Since the cab of a semi-truck is so much taller than most vehicles, drivers can’t see the road immediately in front of them. A truck’s front blind spot can extend up to 20 feet in front of them.
- Right: One of the largest truck blind spots is directly to the right of a truck’s cab. This blind spot stretches back at an angle and can cross up to three lanes of traffic to the right side of a truck.
- Left: The blind spot on a truck’s left side is not quite as large as its right blind spot. However, left-hand truck blind spots can still cover as many as two lanes of traffic to the side of a truck.
- Rear: Large trucks lack rearview mirrors, so truck drivers can’t see directly behind their trailers. A truck’s rear blind spot can reach more than 30 feet beyond its back end, so tailgating a semi-truck is extremely dangerous.
Blind Spot Statistics
Consider these statistics about blind spot truck accidents:
- Of the 4,862 fatal truck crashes that occurred in the U.S. in a recent year, the most common initial point of impact was the front of the truck, accounting for nearly 60 percent of all crashes.
- In nearly half of all truck accidents that resulted in injuries, the initial point of impact was also in front.
- The second-most common initial point of impact for fatal and injury truck accidents was the truck’s rear. There were 920 fatal crashes in which a car rear-ended a truck and 26,000 similar crashes in which someone was injured.
Who Is at Fault After a Truck Accident Caused by a Blind Spot?
Winning compensation in a truck accident claim will depend on proving that another party was at fault. In blind spot crashes, the liable party is often the truck driver.
Truckers are required to complete extensive training to qualify for their commercial drivers’ licenses and legally operate their rigs. A licensed truck driver should know where their blind spots are and how to check them properly on the road.
When truck drivers fail to check their blind spots or take proper precautions, they can be legally liable for resulting blind spot accidents. However, other entities in the trucking industry can also bear a portion of the blame for a blind spot collision.
If a trucking company intentionally hires an unqualified or untrained truck driver, the company may be vicariously responsible for collisions caused by the driver, including blind spot truck accidents.
Keep in mind that other drivers also have a responsibility to drive safely around trucks. Lingering in a No-Zone for too long, tailgating, cutting in front of semi-trucks, or driving erratically can also cause blind spot truck crashes. In those cases, the motorist could be held at least partly liable for the accident.
How Can Custodio & Dubey LLP Help Me?
Truck accidents are especially challenging because both federal and state laws apply. Truck companies are usually protected by multiple insurance policies, which makes negotiating a fair settlement more difficult.
The lawyers at Custodio & Dubey LLP have extensive experience representing clients in the most complex California injury claims. We know what it takes to hold negligent parties accountable and pursue the compensation you need.
When you work with us, we will:
- Explain your legal rights and options
- Conduct an independent investigation into the cause of the truck accident
- Collect and organize evidence to build a strong claim that demands results for you
- Locate medical specialists who can provide the care you need to recover
- Manage important documents, deadlines, and dates on your behalf
- Communicate with insurance companies and other lawyers so that you don’t have to
- Negotiate aggressively for compensation that takes your current and future needs into account
Call Our Truck Accident Lawyers Los Angeles Now
If you’ve been in a blind spot truck accident, you have enough on your plate without the exhausting process of demanding money for your recovery. Put Custodio & Dubey LLP to work for you. There’s no fee unless we win.
Call or contact us today for a free consultation.