Due to the sheer size and weight difference of a commercial vehicle, it is important to take added precautions to reduce the risk of an accident, injury, or death. If you or someone you love was involved in a truck collision and you believe that the truck’s blind spot was to blame, you may be entitled to hold another party responsible for the costs of your losses or injuries. To learn more about your legal rights and to receive a free consultation, call Van Sant Law today at (404) 991-5950.
Blind Spots May Cause Truck Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published a large truck causation study in 2007 in which the organization determined that insufficient observations contributed to 15 percent of large truck collisions caused by truck drivers. Of all of the truck accidents that occur in the U.S. each year, 20,000 incidents occurred due to blind spots or because a truck driver failed to adequately survey his or her surroundings.
In some cases, truck drivers will use their mirrors to see the road and the position of other cars, but accidents still happen despite their best efforts. Commercial vehicles and large semi-trucks have blind spots that can make it difficult or nearly impossible to see other cars, bicyclists, motorcyclists, or pedestrians.
Should an individual or motorist happen to be in the blind spot of a truck, he or she may never be seen by the truck driver. As a result, the driver could change lanes or cut off the passenger vehicle without ever knowing that that individual is there. Blind spots can be extremely dangerous, and it is relatively easy to see why so many truck collisions occur due to surveillance issues.
What are “No-Zones”?
According to the FMCSA, there are several “no-zones” around buses, trucks, and other commercial vehicles. Also known as blind spots, these no-zones can include:
- Areas along the rear of the truck. If a rig or tractor is located directly behind the trailer, it may completely block or partially obstruct the back view in the rear no-zone
- Areas along the sides of the truck; these side no-zones extend the full length of the tractor, including the trailer
- Areas in front of the truck; due to the height of commercial vehicles, it can be difficult or impossible to see cars immediately in front of the truck, particularly if the cars are too close to the hood of the truck or if the cars are small
The FMCSA reports that the most dangerous no-zone is that along the right side of the truck since commercial vehicles often make wide right-hand turns. However, a truck accident that occurs due to a blind spot can happen anytime a driver makes his or her way into one of these difficult-to-see areas.
An Experienced Georgia Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
If a car accident occurs because the passenger vehicle was in the semi truck’s blind spot, the fact that the truck driver was unable to see the other car does not mean that he or she should not be held responsible for the accident or injuries that might have resulted. It is the truck driver’s job to exercise reasonable care when maneuvering the vehicle, and he or she should know how to safely operate the truck.
Failing to acknowledge the dangers of blind spots and neglecting to take the appropriate steps to minimize these hazards can be considered negligence, and the truck driver may be held accountable for any accident that occurs. Additionally, trucking companies may also be liable for the irresponsibility of their employees, depending on the contract that the company has in place with the driver.
In order to take legal action, however, an injured individual will need to prove that the truck driver is to blame for the collision. At Van Sant Law, our Georgia truck accident lawyers can help you to gather the evidence necessary to make a case against the responsible parties and assist you in seeking the compensation to which you may be entitled for emotional distress, pain and suffering, lost income, medical expenses, and other damages. To learn more about how Van Sant Law can help, please fill out our online contact form, or call us today at (404) 991-5950 for a free, no-obligation consultation.