Large commercial trucks are massive vehicles. In comparison, truck drivers who operate these 18-wheelers and tractor-trailers often cannot see every single area around their vehicle as a driver in a passenger vehicle would have the ability to do. These areas where a truck driver cannot directly see other motorists is what we colloquially refer to as a blind spot. Even though there are more blind spots surrounding a large commercial truck, an experienced and well-trained truck driver should always operate their truck in such a way to ensure the safety of all other motorists on the road. Unfortunately, in some cases, due to negligence, a truck driver fails to check their blind spots and causes a collision with other motorists on the roadways. If you suffered injuries with a commercial truck due to the driver’s failure to check their blind spots, learn how a Los Angeles blind spot lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 may help you with your case.
Understanding Blind Spots on Large Commercial Trucks
The length of an average 18-wheeler semi-truck is anywhere from 70 to 80 feet long, creating a large space of limited visibility for the truck driver. Additionally, some tractor-trailers include more than one trailer, making them over 100 feet long. These large trucks are not only long, but they are also much taller than passenger vehicles, making it more challenging for a truck driver to see lower-riding vehicles or motorcycles next to them. It is important to note that semi-trucks do not have rearview mirrors because of the cargo they carry behind them in a trailer, also making it more difficult to view all areas surrounding the truck on the roadways. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) stresses that truck blind spots can result in serious accidents on the roadways. Truck blind spots are in the following areas:
- The area directly below and in front of the cab portion of the tractor (front section of the commercial truck)
- The area to the immediate right and slightly back of the truck driver
- Most of the right side of the commercial truck
- The lower left side of the commercial truck
- The area directly behind the trailer (the back of the truck)
A majority of the time, a truck driver could have multiple vehicles surrounding their commercial truck that they simply cannot see due to blind spots. Therefore, truck drivers have a duty and responsibility to always take the time to check their blind spots as best as they can, and drive prudently and responsibly to ensure safety on the roadways.
Causes of Blind Spot Truck Accidents
An accident with a large commercial truck relating to the truck driver failing to check their blind spot could occur in many different ways. Often, the truck driver simply does not take the time to carefully see all vehicles surrounding their truck when either turning into a different lane or changing lanes. In other cases, if a large commercial truck has a passenger vehicle following their trailer too closely and aggressively taps on the brakes, the truck driver may not have taken the time to ascertain how close that passenger vehicle truly was, resulting in a collision.
For a free legal consultation with a Blind Spot Accidents Lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Negligence of Truck Drivers
Unfortunately, many accidents that are the result of failure to check blind spots are due to the direct negligence of the truck drivers. Reasons why a truck driver may operate their commercial truck negligently regarding blind spots include the following:
- Failure of the trucking company to provide adequate training and education regarding blind spots
- Failure of the truck driver to properly check all mirrors and surroundings before making a turn or changing into a different lane
- Failure to properly align all mirrors prior to travel to reduce the number of blind spots surrounding the commercial truck
- Driving while distracted (texting and driving, driving while talking on the phone, etc.)
- Failure of the trucking company to properly install the correct mirrors for the specific commercial truck
- Driving while drowsy due to the failure of a truck driver to follow the Hours of Service Regulations required by the FMCSA
- Failure of the trucking company to install any front, side, or rear collision avoidance systems
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
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Types of Defense Strategies Used by Trucking Companies
Trucker and trucking company insurance carriers are typically hesitant to pay large claims to victims, even if their client was fully responsible for an accident. In some cases, insurance companies and trucking companies will attempt to use the following as defenses to remove themselves from liability:
- The passenger vehicle is at fault due to their failure to avoid the blind spot of the truck.
- The passenger vehicle is at fault due to their failure to either slow down or speed up so that the truck driver could see them adequately in the truck’s mirrors.
- The passenger vehicle should drive defensively around commercial trucks, as truck drivers have stress-filled jobs with many responsibilities regarding safety.
- The passenger vehicle is at fault due to their failure to obey a traffic signal or stoplight, follow the speed limit, driving while distracted, etc.
If you feel frustrated with how the insurance carrier is attempting to place the blame on you for the injuries you suffered in the trucking accident, learn how a Los Angeles blind spot lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may help negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
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Consider How a Los Angeles Blind Spot Lawyer May Help You
If you suffered injuries in a trucking accident related to the failure of a trucking company to properly train a truck driver, or the failure of a truck driver to carefully examine their blind spots, consider how a Los Angeles blind spot lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 may help you build a personal injury case and help you determine your legal options. Call now for a free consultation.