It might be safe to say that anyone who drives a typical passenger car does not enjoy driving around a commercial truck. Whether it’s behind them, beside them, or just in front of them, those large vehicles make us uneasy, and for a good reason. An accident with a tractor-trailer would likely leave you with severe injuries, if you survive the accident at all.
One of the major reasons people are involved in truck accidents is due to a truck’s large number of blind spots. It is the truck driver’s responsibility to check their blind spots, just as it is any other driver’s responsibility to check their own blind spots. However, due to how large a truck’s blind spots are, checking them is not always a possibility, and drivers around the truck need to be aware of the danger they are in if they happen to be in these hidden areas.
Where are a truck’s blind spots?
Truck blind spot accidents, also known as “no-zone” accidents, occur when vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists are in the areas around a truck where the driver’s visibility is limited. These blind spots are typically located on the sides and rear of the truck.
The main blind spots include:
- Directly in front of the truck. Trucks have a higher vantage point, which can obstruct the view of vehicles or obstacles directly in front of them.
- Side blind spots. Large trucks have significant blind spots along both sides. These blind spots extend from the driver’s side mirrors to the rear of the trailer and can encompass adjacent lanes.
- Rear blind spot. The area immediately behind a truck is also a blind spot. Truck drivers often rely on their side mirrors and backup cameras, but these tools might not provide a complete view of what’s behind them.
Because trucks have these large blind spots, it is important that smaller vehicles be aware of these no-zones, and give trucks a wide berth when following, passing, or driving in front of them.
What dangers to be aware of when around trucks
- Merging and passing. When a truck driver needs to change lanes, they might not be able to see vehicles directly beside them. This can lead to unintentional collisions if other drivers attempt to merge into the same lane simultaneously.
- Trucks require wider turns due to their longer length. During a turn, the rear of the trailer swings out in the opposite direction, potentially crossing into adjacent lanes or spaces. Other drivers might not be aware of this turning radius and can inadvertently place themselves in danger by trying to pass a turning truck on the inside.
- Reaction time and braking distance. Trucks have a longer stopping distance compared to smaller vehicles due to their weight and momentum. In situations where a vehicle suddenly appears in a blind spot, the truck driver might not have enough time to react and avoid a collision.
- Distracted, reckless, and fatigued driving. When a truck driver is distracted by activities such as texting, using a phone, or adjusting in-cab systems, their attention is diverted from monitoring blind spots, making them more prone to miss smaller vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists that might be in these danger zones. Reckless driving behaviors like speeding, aggressive lane changes, or tailgating can reduce the driver’s ability to respond to blind spot situations promptly, increasing the likelihood of collisions. Moreover, driver fatigue impairs attention, reaction times, and decision-making. A fatigued driver might neglect checking blind spots before changing lanes or making turns, leading to critical accidents as their reduced alertness prevents them from accurately gauging their surroundings.
- Inadequate driver training. Insufficient training might lead to a lack of awareness regarding the extent and locations of blind spots on their vehicles. This could result in improper mirror usage, failure to check blind spots before making maneuvers, and inadequate signaling when changing lanes or making turns. Additionally, inadequate training might hinder a driver’s ability to anticipate the movements of other road users around their truck, leading to delayed reactions and potential collisions.
What injuries are caused by blind spot accidents in San Antonio?
Blind spot truck accidents can result in a range of severe injuries due to the size and weight disparity between trucks and smaller vehicles. Some common injuries caused by these accidents include:
- Whiplash and neck injuries. Sudden impacts can cause the head and neck to jerk forcefully, leading to whiplash injuries. These injuries can result in pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion.
- Back and spinal injuries. The force of a collision can lead to back injuries, ranging from strains and sprains to more serious spinal injuries. These injuries can cause chronic pain, mobility issues, and even paralysis in extreme cases.
- Head injuries. The impact of a blind spot accident can cause head injuries, ranging from concussions to traumatic brain injuries. These injuries can have long-term cognitive, emotional, and physical effects.
- Fractures and broken bones. The force of the collision can lead to fractures and broken bones in various parts of the body, such as arms, legs, ribs, and pelvis.
- Internal injuries. The blunt force trauma from a truck accident can cause internal injuries to organs like the lungs, liver, spleen, and kidneys. These injuries can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
- Open wounds. Broken glass, debris, and sharp edges from the collision can cause cuts and lacerations that might require stitches or more extensive medical treatment.
- Amputations. Severe accidents can result in traumatic injuries that necessitate amputations of limbs. This life-altering consequence can impact a person’s mobility and quality of life.
- Burn injuries. If the accident leads to fires or explosions, victims can suffer burn injuries ranging from first-degree burns to more severe, life-threatening burns.
- Emotional trauma. Beyond physical injuries, blind spot truck accidents can cause significant emotional trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression.
- Death. Unfortunately, blind spot truck accidents can be fatal due to the severity of the impact. Surviving family members can pursue wrongful death claims to seek compensation for their losses.
Given the potential for serious injuries in blind spot truck accidents, seeking prompt medical attention is crucial. Victims should also consult a San Antonio personal injury attorney to understand their rights and options for pursuing compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
At the Law Offices of Pat Maloney, we care about your rights. When a truck driver is distracted, tired, ill-trained, or otherwise neglectful, and that neglect causes an accident that injures you, we know how important it is for you to receive compensation. While your health is the number one priority, your medical bills need paying, and you certainly should not have to pay for them yourself, especially as you are already paying with pain and suffering. Not only that, but if your injuries cause you to become unemployed, and you lose your income, then you’re still going to need to pay for your household expenses.
Our experienced legal team is here to ensure that you receive every bit of compensation you need and deserve. We will help you navigate the complex legal system and ensure that every liable party pays their fair share. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation by calling our office in San Antonio or complete our contact form.