There are four significant blind spots around big trucks. These blind spots are called “no-zones” around semis, 18-wheelers, buses, or any large truck because the truck driver can’t see you if you’re driving in one of the four spots.
Locations of a Large Truck’s Blind Spots
Truckers have an unobstructed view of the landscape because they sit high in the cab and have a massive windshield. However, there’s a catch—the height and general size of large trucks prevent the drivers from seeing 360° around the body of their vehicles. For your safety, it’s critical to know where the blind spots are and to avoid settling into them when driving near or attempting to pass big trucks.
It is equally important for truck drivers to be aware of their blind spots and pay special attention when changing lanes. The law expects those who drive large trucks to know how to do so safely. Otherwise, their carelessness could cause an accident for which they’re consequently held responsible.
Front Blind Spot
It’s directly in front of the truck extending about 20 feet, about the length of a medium-sized U-Haul® van.
Back Blind Spot
The area extends 30 feet from the truck’s rear, or the length of two mid-size sedans.
Left Blind Spot
The driver’s side of the truck has a blind spot that starts around the driver’s door and goes back the width of one lane for about 20-30 feet. So, if you can see the driver’s face in their side mirror, they can see you. If you can’t see their face, they can’t see you.
Right Blind Spot
The passenger’s side of the truck has a more extensive and longer blind spot than the driver’s side. It starts around the passenger door and extends like a wing around 20 feet past the end of the truck. Then, it starts covering both the near and the next lanes to the right, eventually angling and tapering off on the right.
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How Serious Are Truck Crashes?
According to recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- Fatalities in crashes involving at least one large truck rose 13% in one year to 5,601 in 2021, with almost 85% of those fatalities occupants of other vehicles in the crash or non-occupants, such as pedestrians.
- The NHTSA estimates that nearly 150,000 individuals were injured in crashes with big trucks in 2020 from the 439,206 traffic crashes involving large trucks.
- Most fatal crashes occur on a weekday (Monday through Friday).
- Compared to passenger vehicles, large trucks are more likely to be involved in fatal multi-vehicle accidents vs. single-vehicle accidents.
Who Is Liable for Crashes Involving Large Trucks?
Most motor vehicles have blind spots. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a small Volkswagen or an 18-wheeler—drivers must be aware of their vehicle’s blind spots and operate accordingly.
Truck drivers share the road with all manners of transportation—passenger cars, motorcycles, school buses, bicycles, and more. So, whether they’re owners/operators or hired drivers, truckers must maintain awareness of the location and size of the no-zones around their rigs. However, that doesn’t mean the truck driver will always be liable if an accident occurs while your passenger car is in a big rig’s no-zone.
Potentially Liable Parties
- The truck driver: Did they drive negligently, such as by speeding, driving under the influence, not checking before changing lanes, or driving while texting?
- The truck’s owner or the trucking company: A truck accident lawyer can help you determine whether either was negligent because it did not properly maintain the truck, provided inadequate training for the driver, or required drivers to break federal regulations regarding driver service hours.
- Another driver on the road: They may be liable if their actions caused the truck driver to take quick action to avoid crashing into the other driver—but by so doing, they hit your vehicle instead.
- Truck cargo loaders: If the truck’s cargo shifts, causing the truck driver to lose control, the loaders or the shipping company might be responsible for the accident.
- Truck part manufacturer: If a part on the truck fails, causing the driver to lose control, the part’s manufacturer might be liable.
- Local road maintenance departments: A municipality that neglects necessary upkeep could lead to an accident.
Determining liability for an accident can depend on multiple factors at play at the time of the crash. However, an attorney can conduct a thorough investigation to identify the responsible parties.
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Laborde Earles Has Experience Pursuing Truck Accident Claims
Did you sustain severe injuries following a truck crash, leaving you with mounting medical bills? Our attorneys are here to guide you through the complicated process of filing an insurance claim or pursuing a personal injury lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve from the at-fault parties.
Call Laborde Earles today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. We’re here for you. We’re the Louisiana attorneys who care.
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