Large trucks have blind spots on all four sides in which automobiles and motorcycles cannot be seen. That creates an accident risk. One careless lane change on the part of a truck driver is all it takes to cause a serious collision with nearby passenger vehicles. The occupants of the passenger vehicles are more likely to sustain the brunt of the injuries in a crash with a large truck.
If you’ve been injured in a semi truck blind spot accident in Las Vegas, you may be owed compensation for your medical bills, damaged property, lost wages, and more. Sam & Ash Injury Law can help you demand full and fair compensation from those who are financially liable for your injuries. The Las Vegas injury attorneys at Sam & Ash Injury Law have successfully recovered more than $400 million in compensation for injured people in California and Nevada. Let us put our skills and experience to work for you.
We believe you deserve What’s Right. We are ready to help you pursue it. Contact our Las Vegas law office to learn more about your possible legal options in a free consultation with a truck blind spot accident lawyer.
What Are Blind Spots?
A blind spot is an area around a vehicle that the driver cannot see from the driver’s seat or through the vehicle’s mirrors. Most drivers are familiar with blind spots and learn to turn their heads before changing lanes. This way, drivers can make sure that it is safe to merge into another lane without endangering anyone else on the road.
Vehicles of all sizes have blind spots, but semi-trucks have much larger ones than passenger vehicles. Because semis tow long trailers and sit high off the road, the truck driver’s view is more obstructed. This makes truckers more prone to blind spot accidents.
Where Are the Blind Spots Of a Truck?
Tractor trailers and semis have blind spots on all four sides including:
- The truck’s right-rear section – In the U.S., truck drivers sit on the left side of the cabin, so they have a harder time seeing anything on the right side of their vehicle, especially towards its rear. This blind spot extends out the width of two traffic lanes is why many semi-trucks have warning stickers on the back urging drivers to stay away from the right side. As a truck makes a wide right turn, vehicles on the inside of the turn could be pinned between the truck and another object.
- The truck’s left-rear section – Truck drivers have a significant blind spot extending diagonally and to the left from the truck’s cabin toward the back of the trailer. Even if the driver uses side-view mirrors, smaller vehicles may be overlooked when positioned in the left rear side blind spot.
- Directly behind the truck – A semi-truck’s trailer prevents the driver from seeing what is directly behind them. If a truck driver has to slow down suddenly, vehicles traveling close behind the truck could crash into the rear of the truck. Tailgating a truck puts an automobile driver in the truck’s blind spot.
- Directly in front of the truck – Semi-trucks sit higher off the road than most other vehicles, and they tend to have long engine compartments in front of the cabin. These two factors make it difficult for the truck driver to see anything directly in front of the vehicle, especially on the passenger side. There are multiple semi truck front end blind spot accidents in Las Vegas annually.
Blind Spot Accident Statistics in Las Vegas
Nevada does not track the number of blind spot truck accidents in Las Vegas, but other research sheds some light on how commonly these crashes occur.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 949 fatal accidents and about 33,000 injury accidents reported nationally in a recent year in which the critical pre-crash event was movement on the part of a large truck.
Why Are a Truck’s Blind Spots So Dangerous?
It is dangerous to linger in any vehicle’s blind spots. The risk is even greater when the vehicle in question is a semi-truck. With an empty trailer, these vehicles weigh about 30,000 pounds, more than 10 times the weight of many passenger vehicles. With a full trailer, a truck may weigh up to 80,000 pounds, about 25 times that of the average sedan.
This weight disparity means that smaller passenger vehicles sustain the brunt of the damage in almost any collision with a large truck. Cars driving in a truck’s blind spots are more likely to be at risk of these collisions.
Causes of Blind Spot Crashes in Las Vegas
Some factors that can increase the risk of a blind spot crash in Las Vegas include:
- Impaired driving – A truck driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol may be less attentive to surrounding traffic and sudden traffic slowdowns. The driver may not check to be sure a lane is open before changing lanes. An impaired truck driver might also misjudge the distance between their truck and the vehicles around them.
- Distracted driving – Distracted truck drivers might be slow to recognize traffic hazards and put other drivers around them at risk when maneuvering to avoid a collision. Common distractions that make an accident more likely include talking on a cellphone, texting while driving, using a navigation device, listening to music, snacking, and grooming.
- Speeding/aggressive driving – The faster a truck moves, the harder it is for the truck driver to maintain control. A large truck’s weight increases the distance required to stop, leaving less margin for error in a potential accident situation. The same is true for other aggressive driving behaviors, such as weaving through traffic, following too closely, not using turn signals, and cutting other drivers off.
- Inexperienced truck drivers – A driver with limited experience handling large commercial vehicles may fail to keep track of vehicles in the truck’s blind spots. They may forget to check the blind spots before merging lanes.
- Driver fatigue – Truck drivers often put in long hours behind the wheel. If the driver does not get enough rest, the fatigue can impair the driver’s ability to drive safely. A severely fatigued truck driver might neglect to check their blind spots before maneuvering.
- Improperly aligned mirrors – While a truck’s side-view mirrors cannot fully eliminate blind spots, properly aligning them can help truck drivers see more of what is happening around them. Unfortunately, not all truck drivers take the time to align their mirrors before hitting the road, increasing the chance of a collision.
Common Types of Truck Accidents Caused By Blind Spots
Some common types of truck accidents caused by bling spots in Las Vegas include:
- Sideswipe accidents – A truck that is attempting to change lanes or merge can sideswipe a vehicle next to it if the driver does not check their blind spots beforehand.
- Underride accidents – An underride accident occurs when a car passenger slides underneath a truck trailer. Underride accidents may occur because trucks are higher off the ground than automobiles.
- Rear-end accidents – Trucks have blind spots that can extend 20 feet behind the truck trailer. Cars should never follow a truck too closely because they may be unable to stop if the truck brakes unexpectedly.
How Can Truck Drivers Avoid Blind Spot Accidents?
Truck drivers can help prevent blind spot accidents by:
- Ensuring the truck’s mirrors are properly aligned before setting off
- Never driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Adhering to hours-of-service requirements and not driving while fatigued
- Minimizing distractions while driving
- Checking blind spots before turning, changing lanes, or overtaking another vehicle
Who Is at Fault in a Blind Spot Accident in Las Vegas, NV?
Truck drivers are responsible for being sure it is safe to change lanes or pass another vehicle before doing so. If a truck driver fails to check their blind spots and causes a crash, the truck driver and their employer may be held liable for any injuries and other losses that result from the collision in trucking blind spot accidents in Las Vegas.
Proving a truck driver caused a blind spot accident will require gathering evidence, such as:
- Police accident reports
- Eyewitness accounts
- Photos from the accident scene
- Medical records
- The truck’s electronic data recorder
- The truck driver’s logs
- The truck company’s employment records
- Surveillance footage
- Expert testimony
Speak with an Experienced Las Vegas Truck Blind Spot Accident Attorney
If a negligent trucker hurt you in a blind spot accident, you deserve What’s Right. The Las Vegas truck accident attorneys at Sam & Ash Injury Law want to help you seek justice and full compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a free case review and find out how we can help.