Truck Blind Spots: Who Is Liable For An Accident?
Large commercial trucks have significant blind spots that can lead to dangerous conditions on the roadway. Here, we want to discuss commercial truck blind spots and how they can affect your safety. We also want to discuss who could be held liable in the event an accident occurs as a result of a commercial truck’s blind spot. The blind spots of a truck are commonly referred to as “No-Zones,” areas where no vehicle should linger for any length of time.
The Large Blind Spots of Commercial Trucks
Large commercial trucks play an incredibly important role in the California economy. However, there are also significant risks when it comes to operating these vehicles. Every vehicle on the roadway has blind spots, but the blind spots on a large commercial truck (or any larger vehicle for that matter) are much bigger. These vehicles can reach lengths of 65 to 75 feet, which means there is plenty of room for smaller passenger vehicles to cruise along in a blind spot.
When we look at information available from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), we can see that large “No-Zones” are in four locations around a commercial truck:
- Two blind spots along each side of the truck
- Directly in front of the truck
- Right behind the truck
Who is Liable for a Blind Spot Commercial Truck Accident?
Accidents involving the blind spots of larger trucks are not uncommon. Unfortunately, when these incidents occur, the truck driver or trucking company often immediately points the finger at other drivers for these incidents.
Do not misunderstand – it is possible for drivers inside passenger vehicles to be responsible for large truck blind spot accidents. If a motorist makes a choice to operate inside the blind spot for a large truck, the odds of a crash occurring will certainly increase. However, there are no laws in California that say that a person cannot drive their vehicle inside of a blind spot of another vehicle. While this type of behavior is certainly discouraged, the crash will not necessarily be the fault of the passenger vehicle driver.
If an accident occurs because the operator of the larger truck strikes a vehicle inside of the truck’s blind spot, it can certainly be the case that the truck driver is at fault because they failed to check the blind spots before they changed lanes, made a turn, or sped up.
Common Causes of Blind Spot Truck Accidents in California
There are various causes of blind spot truck accidents in California. Often, we discover that these incidents occur because the truck driver did not see a smaller passenger vehicle inside of their blind spot when changing lanes or making a turn. However, there are various other ways that these No-Zone crashes occur, including:
- Other vehicles following a truck too closely (tailgating)
- A larger truck following other vehicles too closely
- Truck drivers disregarding surrounding traffic when turning or changing lanes
- Passenger vehicles purposely traveling inside of a truck’s blind spot
- Various types of aggressive driving behavior or road rage on the part of a passenger vehicle driver or the truck driver
Speak to an Attorney
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident involving a larger truck’s blind spot, you should work with a skilled attorney as soon as possible. A truck accident lawyer in Orange County can use their resources to conduct a complete investigation into the incident and determine liability. They will vigorously negotiate with insurance carriers and legal teams to recover full compensation for their client.