Every single vehicle on the road has blind spots, but a regular car driver can easily turn around to see theirs. However, if you’re driving an 18-wheeler truck, you’ll have several complete blind spots. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are more than 840,000 blind spot accidents in the US, and they cause around 300 deaths. Naturally, not all of these collisions will involve a truck, but it’s safe to guess a high percentage do. Whether you’re a pedestrian, truck driver, or other vehicle driver, here are some ways you can avoid blind spot accidents with trucks.
Tips for Truck Drivers
Truck drivers have several no-zones, which are spots that are completely blind. However, this doesn’t mean that accidents have to happen. After all, the majority of them are preventable. The first action truck drivers should make is to move slowly, as speed is a major factor when it comes to truck accidents.
When you’re on the road, you can still turn around to check your blind spots, but you will have limited visibility up to around 200ft behind, to the left, and the right. Therefore, when you’re making any movement, you need to act extra carefully and be thorough when checking your surroundings. Additionally, you should use your indicators to tell other road users exactly what you’re doing.
Tips for Other Drivers
When you’re on the road, you have a responsibility to drive safely, especially when you’re around trucks. Here are several best practices for avoiding car accidents by driving in a truck’s blind spot:
- Avoid tailgating a truck – you’ll come off worse in a crash.
- Always follow the 4-second rule – you should pass any given point 4 seconds after the truck.
- Watch out for truck signals.
- Move quickly to avoid lingering in the blind spot.
- Truck movements are wide – make sure you leave them enough room.
- Before passing, attempt to see the driver’s face in the mirror.
Tips for Pedestrians
Pedestrians can be just as responsible for collisions as drivers, especially if they’re crossing roads recklessly. When you’re walking down the street, avoid standing right next to the curb, as you would be in the hit zone if a truck swerved. Additionally, if you’re waiting for a truck to turn out of a road, make sure you stand back to give them enough space.
When you’re crossing the street, make sure you only use designated pedestrian crossings and other areas. If you use these every time you cross the road, truck drivers will never have to factor you into their actions on the road.
Blind spot accidents involving trucks can be devastating, but they’re completely preventable if every road user works together. Truck drivers should move carefully and take time to double-check their surroundings before any movement; other drivers can avoid lingering in no zones and make sure they overtake with speed; and pedestrians should stick to designated areas and avoid crossing in front of a truck.
If you’ve been involved in a blind spot truck accident, you should contact our legal team below to find out what compensation you’re entitled to. Freeman Law Firm can be found at:
- Olympia – 400 Union Ave SE, Ste 200, Olympia, WA 98501
- Tacoma – 1107 1/2 Tacoma Avenue S, Tacoma, WA 98402
Call now for a free consultation on (253) 383-4500 and (360) 338-6886.