The Dangers of Semi-Truck Blind Spots
Semi-trucks are no rare sight on the highways of Washington State. In maneuvering around these large vehicles, it is important to know what dangers they pose. Blind spots are universal to every vehicle. These blind spots on semi-trucks have been called the truck’s “No-Zones,” and are called as such because cars are meant to avoid these spots next to, behind, and in front where the driver of the truck cannot see the other vehicle.
Blind spots are dangerous to be in, as heavy and large trucks can cause smaller vehicles severe damage, leading to catastrophic injuries for the passenger vehicle. Such accidents require an expert Kennewick truck accident lawyer in order to help a victim secure compensation from the negligent party.
Where are the blind spots on a semi-truck?
Many car accidents and truck accidents happen because a vehicle goes unnoticed when it disappears into a semi truck’s blind spot. Semi-trucks have four main blind spot zones in which if a car or person steps into, the truck driver can no longer see them. These zones are:
- Zone 1. Trucks have long and tall hoods, which create a space of up to 20 feet in front of the bumper where the truck driver cannot see. Trucks require plenty of room to brake or swerve, and if a car has settled into that position in front of the truck, they are leaving no room for the truck driver to brake, leading to the truck possibly ramming into the car in front of it.
- Zone 2. , There are also blind spots along each side of the truck. “On the driver’s side, the No Zone extends from the driver’s door to the middle of the trailer.” It is important that if you are passing a semi-truck, that you spend as little time in this zone as possible.
- Zone 3. On the passenger side of the truck, the blind spot is much larger. It stretches from the front of the truck to the rear, extending three lanes over. When the truck driver needs to make a right turn, if there is a smaller vehicle inside that blind spot, it can lead to the truck crashing into that car. For this reason, it is best to avoid passing trucks on the right hand side.
- Zone 4. Directly behind the truck is another blind spot. The truck driver cannot see at all directly behind the truck. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if you cannot see the truck’s side-view mirrors, then you are in the trucker’s blind spot, and they cannot see you.
One of the most common accidents that come from driving in a semi truck’s blind spots are underride accidents. An underride accident happens when the car becomes lodged under the semi-truck, whether from a sudden stop where the smaller vehicle is in the front blind spot of the semi-truck, or if the truck is making a wide right turn, and the car in the side blind spot slides under the truck on the side. These accidents are extremely dangerous and oftentimes fatal.
What types of injuries are common from blind spot accidents?
Blind spot accidents with trucks are extremely dangerous. A semi-truck is far larger and far heavier than the average vehicle on the road, and so a crash with one of these large automobiles can result in severe injuries. Some of these injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury. When the head is hit or jostled hard enough, it can cause your brain to collide with the inside of your skull. This can cause swelling, internal bleeding, and abrasions. These injuries are sometimes immediately noticeable, but sometimes symptoms may not be obvious for a few days. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can lead to loss of cognitive function, mood swings, confusion, dizziness, nausea, loss of memory and loss of consciousness. It is important that you seek immediate medical attention if you have suffered an injury to the head.
- Spinal cord injury. The nervous system is in charge of everything in your body, and the spine is the main nexus and thoroughfare. Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) damage that neurological highway, causing complications for the rest of the body. When the spine is damaged, it can lead to paralysis, depending on the severity of the injury. If there is some function and sensation left beneath the location of the injury, it is called an incomplete SCI. A complete SCI is when there is no function or sensation beneath the site of the injury.
- Traumatic amputation. If a limb is severed at the site of the accident or is too damaged from the accident to save later at the hospital, this is known as a traumatic amputation. These injuries are extremely painful, and lead to life-long complications and challenges.
- Wrongful death. The unfortunate reality is that accidents that occur in a truck’s blind spot are too often fatal. This leaves the family left in the wake of a devastating tragedy. Not only will they have to suffer the emotional trauma of losing a loved one, but will also have to deal with the financial hardships of paying for a funeral and burial. Having a dedicated wrongful death lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve so that you do not have to suffer more than you already are.
All of these injuries can lead to life-long complications and symptoms. The financial cost of the treatment necessary is just another blow. Therapy, repeat hospital visits, the loss of income from being unable to work due to your injury – these are just a few of the aspects of your life that can be affected from driving in a truck’s blind spot.
If you have been injured due to the neglect of a truck driver, then it is important that you contact a Kennewick truck accident lawyer. Do not settle for less than you deserve. At Telaré Law, we know exactly how to help. We provide aggressive, comprehensive, and compassionate help to those who need it most. Your life and happiness are worth fighting for. Let us take care of you.
If you would like to schedule an appointment at either our Kennewick or Richland offices, call us at 509-737-8500 or use our contact page. We also serve the Tri-Cities and all of Southeast Washington.