Virginia trucker blind spot accident lawyers
All vehicles have blind spots -- areas of the road that drivers can’t see when they look through their rear-view mirrors. Every driver should be aware of blind spots so we can use extra caution to avoid accidents.
Commercial trucks have much larger blind spots than other vehicles, and this means truck drivers should use even greater caution to help prevent collisions.
Here, we share tips to keep you safer with trucks on the road, and information about what to do if you’re in an accident with a truck.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a truck driver in Virginia who neglected to use the caution to prevent a blind spot accident, you have the right to seek compensation to cover the costs of your injuries.
At GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, we can help you get the settlement you deserve. We serve our neighbors in Virginia, and we work to prevent truck accidents from happening by sharing safety information. But when a serious trucking accident does happen, we consider it a calling to help those who are hurt.
Because trucks are so long and the driver is so far above the ground, trucker blind spots are large. For that reason, other drivers should avoid these four spaces, also known as “no-zones:”
- Directly in front of the truck. Truck drivers are seated too high to see cars that are right in front of them for a distance of at least 20 feet.
- Passenger side. This is the most dangerous trucker blind spot, extending from the front of the truck to the very end of the trailer. In addition to being long, this blind spot is also three lanes wide. That’s why it’s never a good idea to pass a truck on the right.
- Driver’s side. This blind spot extends from the driver’s door to halfway down the trailer. This area should be avoided as much as possible, and you certainly don’t want to remain there any longer than necessary.
- Right behind the trailer. The blind spot directly behind the truck’s trailer is at least 30 feet long and it can extend for up to 200 feet. If you cannot see the driver’s side mirror, then he cannot see you.
More than 5,000 Americans died in accidents involving trucks in 2019, and these numbers continue to rise. In fact, truck accident fatalities have risen by 36% since 2010. In the state of Virginia, there were 58 fatal truck crashes in 2020.
Large trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds – that’s 16 times larger than the average car! They are up to 13 feet tall and 80 feet long. Because they are so heavy, these behemoths take much longer to stop than regular vehicles, up to 400 feet when traveling 55 mph, as compared with about 130 feet for cars. Trucks also do a lot more damage when they collide with a normal-sized passenger vehicle because the force of their impact is considerably larger.
Truck drivers log long hours, which can lead to fatigue and distraction. It only takes a momentary loss of concentration by the truck driver to have tragic consequences for people in another vehicle. Although federal regulations limit the hours that truck drivers are allowed to drive, these rules are often ignored by drivers and their employers who are looking to finish routes as quickly as possible to generate higher profits. Truck drivers are also subject to the same dangerous habits as other drivers, including distracted driving and driving under the influence (DUI).
Because trucks are inherently more dangerous than other types of vehicles, truck drivers are expected to exercise extreme caution on the road. When they fail to make allowances for drivers who may be in their blind spots, truck drivers are creating an unnecessary risk that may result in fatalities.
Types of accidents caused by truckers who carelessly disregard their blind spots include:
- Lane change and merging accidents. Blind spots on both sides of the truck create potential hazards whenever a trucker makes a lane change. To avoid sideswiping other vehicles, truckers must anticipate lane changes and merges in advance, give advance warning to other drivers, and always be on the lookout for other types of vehicles.
- Underride collisions happen when a passenger vehicle rear-ends a truck. Truck drivers can help avoid sudden stops by monitoring traffic conditions and anticipating changes in the traffic flow. If trucks do not have the proper type of safety equipment known as an ICC bar, it can make these accidents much more deadly for people driving in cars.
- Rear-end collisions. When a truck runs into a car on the highway, the effects can be devastating. To help avoid these accidents, truck drivers must be aware of the large blind spot in front of their cab where they cannot see cars. Such accidents are much more likely to result when truck drivers engage in irresponsible behavior such as speeding and aggressive driving.
While you can’t avoid being on the road with large trucks, you can take steps to keep your passengers and yourself safer:
- Avoid truck driver blinds spots whenever possible.
- Don’t spend any more time than you have to when you are in a trucker’s blind spot.
- Keep a safe distance when following a truck.
- Never cut in front of a truck.
- Maintain a consistent speed when passing a truck, and don’t slow down.
- Always look out for a trucker’s passing signal.
- When you are getting ready to pass a truck, signal as early as possible.
- Never pass a truck on the right side if you can possibly avoid it.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a large truck, the results can be devastating. At GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, our experienced team knows how to take on the big insurance companies and win. That means getting you a fair settlement that provides enough money to cover the costs of your medical care and other expenses so you can get your life back. Call (804) 413-6777 today for a FREE consultation. At GibsonSingleton, you will always be treated like our neighbor, never a number.
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Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.
- Safety Education
GibsonSingleton launches “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
- Annual Coat Drive
During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
- Hands-on Service
John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
- Supporting Local Schools
The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.