It’s every driver’s worst nightmare: an accident with a semi-truck. These herculean vehicles can weigh up to 30 times more than passenger cars, and a crash is likely to end with severe injuries or death.
According to the Large Truck Crash Causation study, approximately 10 percent of semi-truck crashes are same-direction side-swipe collisions. These happen when a driver drifts into an adjacent lane and hits the side of a vehicle.
Side-swipe collisions often occur when truck drivers forget to check their blind spots. 18-wheelers have larger blind spots than passenger vehicles, and it is easy for small cars and motorcycles to disappear inside them.
Tractor-trailers have four blind spots:
- One directly behind the vehicle;
- One directly in front of the vehicle; and
- One on either side of the vehicle – adjacent to the side mirrors.
Commercial truckers are trained to survey surrounding traffic constantly and to check their blind spots before turning or changing lanes. Unfortunately, due to fatigue, distractions and other factors, CMV drivers often fail to check their blind spots.
If you were injured by a negligent truck driver in Louisiana, a Lafayette truck accident lawyer from Morris Bart, LLC will help you claim compensation for medical bills, lost income and non-economic damages. Our legal team has been representing the injured for more than 30 years, and we have the knowledge, resources and courtroom experience to help you recover the highest possible compensation. Call 800-537-8185 today to discuss your case in a free consultation.
4 Tips to Avoid Blind Spot-Related Accidents with 18-Wheelers
As previously mentioned, an estimated 10 percent of truck crashes are side-swipe accidents. This is the second most common type of tractor-trailer crash – just behind rear-end collisions, which account for 23 percent of all 18-wheeler wrecks. The most effective way to avoid side-swipe and rear-end accidents is to stay out of trucks’ blind spots, which you can do by:
- Maintaining a Safe Following Distance: Trucks have a blind spot directly behind them. If you tailgate an 18-wheeler, its driver may not see you. Also, you will have a shorter stopping distance, which increases your risk of causing a rear-end collision. You should maintain at least three seconds of space between your car and the truck ahead, and double that distance when driving in poor weather.
- Not Cutting off Tractor-Trailers: Do not change lanes in front of a truck until you can see both of its headlights in your rear-view mirror. This will help you avoid the blind spot directly in front of the truck.
- Staying a Sufficient Distance ahead of Tractor-Trailers: If a truck driver is tailgating you, then change lanes and let him or her pass. Tractor-trailers require a significant stopping distance, so being followed too closely presents a high risk of getting rear-ended. Also, your vehicle may disappear in the blind spot directly in front of the 18-wheeler.
- Being Cautious When Overtaking a Large Truck: The largest blind spot on a tract-trailer is on its right side. As such, you should only pass a large truck on its left side. Make sure you signal your intentions before overtaking the vehicle so its driver knows you will pass through his or her blind spot.
Unfortunately, all it takes is one mistake by a truck driver to cause a devastating crash. If you were hurt or lost a family member due to a negligent trucker in Louisiana, contact a Lafayette truck crash attorney from Morris Bart, LLC. Schedule a free consultation by calling 800-537-8185.