Large tractor-trailers have blind spots surrounding the vehicle, making it difficult for truck drivers to see nearby vehicles. Unfortunately, this feature often makes large rigs hazardous to others on the road.
Being in a truck’s blind spot does not mean that an accident was your fault. Truck drivers have technology to limit the range and mitigate the danger of blind spots. If a truck driver is giving his or her full attention to the road, these accidents should not occur.
Consult with a local personal injury lawyer if you have been seriously hurt in a blind spot truck accident in State College. By working with a State College truck collision attorney, you could recover financial compensation for your losses.
Where are Commercial Vehicle Blind Spots Located?
Since tractor-trailers are so large and their cabs so high, a truck has blind spots on all four sides. Truck drivers might not be able to see vehicles in the areas immediately in front of the cab and immediately behind the trailer. The blind spot on the left side is the length of the cab and extends from the driver’s door of the cab back across an entire traffic lane. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, big rigs have blind spots on their right side large enough to span the length of the trailer across two lanes of traffic.
Although all 18-wheelers have mirrors to help them view vehicles in their blind spots, when a truck is turning, the mirrors give them a view of the trailer rather than the road. For this reason, blind spot accidents are particularly common State College when a truck driver is turning right.
Truck Driver’s Duty to Check Blind Spots
One of the most important skills big rig drivers learn in their training is to keep track of other vehicles in their vicinity. Truck drivers must always have a sense of when other motorists might be driving in their blind spots.
Unfortunately, when a truck driver in the area is distracted, he or she may fail to adequately check his or her blind spots, resulting in a collision. A truck driver can become distracted by using a navigation system, an in-cab dispatching system, a cell phone, or by talking to a passenger in the vehicle.
Cameras and lane intrusion systems could help mitigate the hazards associated with truck blind spots. A capable State College attorney might investigate whether a truck involved in a blind spot accident was equipped with adequate safety equipment. A failure to install readily available safety equipment could be evidence of negligence.
Establishing Negligence in an 18-Wheeler Blind Spot Accident
Proving truck driver negligence in a blind spot collision requires a plaintiff to show that the trucker and his or her employer failed to use reasonable caution and the plaintiff suffered injuries as a result. Examples of negligent behavior includes:
- Distracted driving
- Driving fatigued
- Inadequate training
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Lack of safety equipment
However, the truck driver and the local trucking company could respond with the argument that the injured driver should not have been in the truck’s blind spot.
Drivers should avoid a truck’s blind spot if they can, but it is not always possible. When traffic is heavy, vehicles sometimes get stuck in a truck’s blind spot for a considerable time. If both the trucker and the injured driver bear some blame for an accident, 42 P.S. §7102 allows the plaintiff to collect reduced damages if he or she were less than 50 percent responsible for the incident.
Rely on a State College Attorney After a Blind Spot Truck Accident
If you were hurt in an accident that occurred while you were in a truck’s blind spot, it could be difficult to obtain just compensation without legal help. Truck drivers and their employers aggressively defend themselves against blind spot accident claims.
Do not try to handle a truck accident case alone. You need a professional on your side. Schedule a consultation at Marcus & Mack as soon as possible after you were involved in a blind spot truck accident in State College.