Many Houston truck accidents occur because of the large blind spots surrounding tractor-trailers. The size and length of tractor-trailers make it difficult for truck drivers to see smaller vehicles. A truck driver may attempt to move into a lane already occupied by a car and cause a crash because the smaller vehicle is hidden in a blind spot.
Blind spots are referred to as “no-zones” for good reason. Other motorists should avoid riding in semi truck blind spots because of the accident risk.
If you cannot see a truck driver in the truck’s side-view mirror, the truck driver typically cannot see you either. If you have been injured in a blind spot truck accident in Texas, the truck driver may be liable for your injuries. You may be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries.
Contact the truck accident lawyers of Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., today. Our personal injury lawyers have been fighting for full compensation for truck accident victims throughout Texas for many years. Call us now at 361-882-4357 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
The no-zones extend on all sides of large commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and buses. Truck drivers have to physically move to see no-zone areas. However, many truck drivers fail to do this and lose track of vehicles in a blind spot, leading to an accident. This error on the part of truck drivers results in numerous accidents throughout Texas each year.
It’s important to be aware of no-zones on trucks and to do your best to avoid driving in them. It’s also important to be aware of your legal rights if you are injured because of another driver’s driving error. Many crashes occur because of the truck driver or another driver’s negligent actions or inactions. In these situations, you can pursue compensation from the at-fault party.
When Do Houston Blind Spot Accidents Occur With Trucks?
Rear-end and side collisions are among the most common accidents that happen because of 18 wheeler blind spots. If a truck driver cannot see a passenger vehicle in front of them, they may not be able to stop in time to avoid colliding with that vehicle.
On the other hand, if a truck driver stops suddenly and a car is following too closely behind the truck, the car may collide with the rear of the truck.
Many truck blind spot accidents occur when a truck driver attempts to change lanes and collides with a vehicle already occupying the lane. The truck may crash into the side of the vehicle, sending the vehicle into another lane of traffic or off the road.
Blindspot accidents with trucks often occur at intersections and on multi-lane roads due to the reduced visibility. Common accidents that occur due to blind spots include:
- Rollover accidents
- Underride accidents
- Front-to-rear collisions
- Side-to-side collisions
- Cyclist accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
Blindspot accidents are frequently due to inattentiveness on the part of truck drivers. Common causes of these accidents include:
- Distracted driving – talking on the phone, texting, adjusting the radio or GPS, or eating
- Inattentive driving – failing to notice changes in traffic conditions and to remain aware of nearby vehicles in blind spots
- Poor decision-making – neglecting to check mirrors or look over the shoulder before changing lanes or merging
In each of these scenarios, the truck driver’s negligence may make the trucker’s insurance company liable for others’ injuries and give rise to a claim for compensation.
Where Are Semi Truck Blind Spots Located?
Commercial trucks have blind spots on all sides. The three main types of blind spots, or no-zones, are as follows:
- Side No-Zone –The blind spot on the right side of a truck can extend the entire length of the trailer. Because of this blind spot, drivers should pass trucks on the left side. While there is also a blind spot on the left side, truck drivers are trained to expect passing vehicles on the left side.
- Front No-Zone – Because truck drivers sit in elevated cabs, truck drivers can’t see cars that are immediately in front of them. If a driver gets too close, the hood of the truck may block the vehicle from view. This blind spot typically extends roughly 20 feet ahead of the truck. Merging directly in front of a truck puts drivers at high risk of a crash.
- Rear No-Zone – This no-zone extends nearly 200 feet from the back of the truck. When drivers tailgate trucks, the truck driver may be unable to see the vehicle. It’s critical that motorists stay far enough behind so that the truck driver can see their vehicles with their side-view mirrors.
It’s important to be aware that all of these blind spots can extend dozens of feet, hiding five or more vehicles on the side of them. Additional information on truck accidents from the Texas Department of Transportation can be found here for reference.
How To Avoid Truck Blind Spots
The first step is understanding what semi truck blind spots are and where they are located in relation to a truck. You need to stay away from these zones as much as possible. If you need to pass a truck, proceed to pass when the lane is clear without lingering in a truck’s no-zone.
It can be tricky to know whether or not you are in a truck’s no-zone. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you can see the truck driver’s face. If you can see the driver’s face in the truck’s side mirrors, the trucker can see you, and you are therefore not in a no-zone.
However, if you cannot see the truck driver in the side mirrors, the driver most likely cannot see you either. The truck driver may not be aware that you are driving behind them or next to them.
Avoid tailgating, as the rear no-zones of trucks extend almost 200 feet from the back of the vehicle. Other dangers with tailgating trucks include debris falling from the truck and onto your vehicle. Following too closely also decreases your visibility and gives you less time to react in case the truck stops suddenly.
Who Is Liable In A Houston Blind Spot Accident?
When a blind spot accident occurs, truck companies, truck drivers and their insurers may be liable for an accident. The trucking company may be held liable for its driver’s error and if the truck did not have the proper mirrors to help the driver see.
Truck companies have a duty to screen all semi truck drivers before hiring them. If a company fails to identify a driver with a checkered driving record, the company may be liable for leaving an unsafe driver on the road.
Blindspot truck accidents may be considered “shared liability” accidents. This means that the truck driver and the driver of the passenger vehicle are both partially responsible. To avoid liability being unjustly placed on you, you need the help of an experienced and skilled Texas truck accident lawyer.
Does My Insurance Cover Houston Blind Spot Accidents With Trucks?
Insurance companies are for-profit corporations. They are focused on minimizing the payment of claims to increase their profits. Insurance adjusters will try to blame you for causing a blind spot crash or downplay your injuries to reduce the insurance company’s liability.
Insurance adjusters are skilled at settling accident claims for far less than what they are actually worth.
If you file a claim for injuries sustained when a truck crashed into your vehicle while you were in the truck’s blind spot, the insurance adjuster may try to assert that you are to blame for riding in the truck’s blind spot or that if you had accelerated so that the truck driver could see you, the accident would not have occurred.
An insurance adjuster may also tell you that you should have been driving more carefully.
Truck drivers have a duty to drive safely. This includes ensuring that no passenger vehicles are occupying the lane before the truck changes into that lane. When a truck driver’s negligence causes the driver to collide with another vehicle, whether or not it was located in a blind spot, the truck driver may be held liable for injuries resulting from the accident.
Contact a Houston Blind Spot Truck Accident Attorney
At Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., our experienced Texas truck accident attorneys have been fighting for full and fair compensation for truck crash victims for decades. If you or a loved one have been injured in a blind spot truck accident in Texas, contact our highly skilled and compassionate truck accident lawyers today.
Our team of experienced Texas personal injury attorneys will investigate your accident and injuries.
We will fight insurance companies that try to deny the full and fair compensation you deserve.
At our firm, we do not charge any upfront fees to start working on your truck accident injury claim. We handle cases on a contingency fee basis and only get paid if we help you secure compensation. Contact us at 361-882-4357 for a free initial consultation.