Did you know the average semi-truck is surrounded by more than 50 feet of dangerous blind spots? Big rig drivers typically can’t see the 20 feet immediately in front of them, the 30 feet straight behind them, or the wide areas just to the rear of each of the cab doors.
That’s a lot of blind spots! It means nearby passenger vehicles are almost invisible to semi-truck drivers much of the time. It’s no wonder there are so many truck collisions on Maryland’s roads.
These accidents can be much more dangerous than those between smaller, more lightweight passenger vehicles. A semi-trailer can legally be 48 feet in length, weigh 40 tons, and have 18 wheels zooming across the road. One of these monsters can crush a car in an instant.
Here’s Why Blind Spot Accidents Happen
There are many reasons why blind spot accidents happen. With such a wide field view that’s constantly unseen for the trucker, even a small driving error can create a huge accident.
Driving inexperience can be a factor in trucking accidents. Neither truckers nor other drivers may realize the locations of blind spots or how big they are. The driver of a small car can sometimes hover in a trucker’s blind spot for minutes at a time, totally unaware of the danger they’re creating.
Although semi-truck drivers in Maryland must hold a certain type of commercial driver’s license that requires specialized training, there are still plenty of inexperienced and dangerous truck drivers on the road. Just look at the job listings, and you’ll see many trucking jobs require little to no previous truck driving experience.
Another common cause is distracted driving. Truckers are under intense pressure to follow certain routes and meet delivery deadlines. As they try to reach their destination, they may be distracted by navigation instructions, trucker talk on the CB radio, or bad weather.
Unexpected maneuvers are also a common cause of blind spot accidents, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA recommends that other drivers take particular care around big trucks when they’re turning, backing up, or changing lanes. Increase following distance to allow extra room and keep this rule in mind: If you can’t see a trucker’s side-view mirrors, they can’t see you.
Beware of these trucker blind spots:
- The 20-foot area just in front of the front bumper
- A full car length next to the truck driver’s side window
- Along the trucker’s entire passenger side
- From the cab to the back end of the trailer for a full 1 to 2 lanes on either side of the truck
- The 30-foot area directly behind the truck
Avoid doing the following things that can increase the odds of a collision:
- Don’t ride in one of the trucker’s blind spots described above.
- Don’t ride too close and tailgate a semi-truck.
- Don’t stop suddenly to make a point or “brake check” a semi-truck.
- Pass on the left-hand side whenever possible and legal.
- Watch for truckers’ turn and brake signals.
- Allow plenty of distance between you and a trucker.
- Drive as if you are invisible to truck drivers and don’t assume they see you.
After a Semi-Truck Blind Spot Accident, Take Action
If you ever find yourself in a semi-truck blind spot accident, take a moment to thank your lucky stars that you survived. Now it’s time to minimize the impact on your life and take action by making a claim that compensates you for your medical bills, car repairs, and more.
Most of these claims can be resolved through insurance claims and out-of-court settlements, so it’s unlikely you’ll ever have to go to court. With the help of an experienced truck accident attorney, you can pursue a favorable outcome that allows you to recover from the accident.
Before you accept a low offer, talk to us about your options for securing a high-value claim. At Zirkin & Schmerling Law, we’re here to help you stand up to a big trucking company, get your bills paid, and move forward with your life.
Have a Legal Question? We Have Answers
When you need to learn more about your rights, the attorneys at Zirkin & Schmerling Law can help. Contact us or call us at (410) 753-4611 to set up an appointment with one of our experienced truck accident lawyers today.