Virginia roads are filled with tractor-trailers and other commercial trucks. Unfortunately, these vehicles have dangerous blinds spots which can increase the risk of trucking accidents, like when a truck driver switches lanes but is unaware that there is a smaller vehicle in one of their blind spots.
- Blind Spots in Commercial Trucks Put Motorcyclists at Risk for Injury and Death
- Stay Out of Tractor-Trailer “No Zones”
- How to Share Virginia Roads with Trucks Carrying Oversized Loads
What Is a Blind Spot?
A blind spot (also referred to as no-zones) is the area around a vehicle that is not visible to the driver even when they use rearview or side mirrors on the vehicle. Every vehicle has them, but large commercial trucks have multiple blind spots because of their size.
- Front of the Truck Blind Spot: The front of the truck has a blind spot which can range from 15 to 25 feet from the vehicle’s front bumper. The blind spot occurs because the truck hood height is above the road. Other vehicle operators should avoid this area of the truck to stay safe.
- Back of the Truck Blind Spot: The blind spot located at the truck’s rear can be as large as 150 to 225 feet from the back bumper. When another vehicle is in this area, the driver is unable to see anything in front of the truck, leaving them unaware of any traffic issues ahead. This can be particularly dangerous if the truck driver needs to slow down or stop suddenly.
- Driver Side Blind Spot: The blind spot on this side of the truck starts at the driver’s door and runs to the truck’s midsection. If another vehicle is in this area, the truck driver may not see it. This is why it is safest to pass the truck and not stay in that blind spot area.
- Passenger Side Blind Spot: This blind spot runs from the front of the vehicle all the way to the rear and is much bigger than the blind spot on the driver’s side. Never pass a truck on the right side. The driver will not be able to see you. If you are at an intersection with a large commercial truck, make sure to pay attention to what the truck is doing. If the truck takes a wide right turn, never try to squeeze by.
Blind spots are one reason why it is critical that a truck driver has special training in order to be aware of these spots, where they are, and to keep checking their mirrors frequently while they are driving. If the driver is checking frequently, then they will be aware of where a smaller vehicle is and keep track of that vehicle if the truck needs to stop or change lanes. Too many times, however, the truck driver fails to check their mirrors as they should. This can happen because they are fatigued, careless, or distracted, and they fail to watch the blind spots. The results of this failure can be tragic.
Contact a Virginia Truck Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, contact a Virginia truck accident attorney to discuss what legal recourse you may have against the responsible party or parties. The legal team from Shapiro & Appleton has successfully advocated for many truck accident victims and their families and we understand how complicated these cases can be. Our attorneys are available to meet and discuss the details of your case and how we may be able to help.
For more information about truck accidents in Virginia, please download our free guide.