Many know that drivers of 18-wheelers can be some of the most careful drivers on the road. Due to the sheer weight of the truck and trailer, the most minor imbalance can often cause a horrifying accident. The worst types of truck accidents are rollovers, wherein the 18-wheeler or other vehicles end up on their side or rolled onto their back, or another position. These accidents are messy, brutal, and result in injury or sometimes even death, especially when civilian drivers are involved. Unfortunately, one of the many causes of these split-second accidents is due to blind spots. While 18-wheelers possess some top-notch, safe, and experienced drivers, the design and mirrors for many of these trucks still leave some large blind spots that are dangerous to the driver and other motorists. Today, J. Price McNamara and our team want to share some tips on how to safely share the road with freight trucks, and what to do if an accident happens to you.
Demonstration of Blind Spots
For a more sobering reminder of the dangers of blind spots, take a look at the video below from the British Safety Council. The video shows a truck driver demonstrating a left turn: he checks his mirrors on both sides, and the coast seems clear. However, as the demonstration continues, the driver steps out of the cab and reveals that there was actually a huge group of cyclists on the left side the whole time. The cyclists were in the truck’s blind spot, invisible to the driver’s eye the whole time.
Road-Sharing Safety Tips
Know Where the Blind Spots Are… and Don’t Linger!
Assume that freight trucks have at least one blind spot on all sides: the very front of the truck directly in front of the grill, behind the truck, and along the sides of the truck, particularly where the truck and the tractor are connected. If you do need to pass a truck, do your best to not linger in these positions, or instead give the truck some space.
Passing Trucks Safely
Remember, when passing a truck, if you can’t see the driver’s face in his mirrors, he most likely can’t see you. Keep eyes open for turn signals, which are positioned along the sides of the trucks typically. If you are passing a truck and he is indicating a turn, slow down and be sure that the driver can see you.
Keeping Your Distance
This is especially important when trucks are making left and right turns down city streets. Never try to sneak between a truck that is signaling a turn. They most likely won’t see you in time and could collide with you. Trucks take wide turns for a reason, and trying to sneak your way in-between a truck and his lane is very unwise.
During highway traffic, never try to rapidly pull in front of a truck. Keep your distance and only pull in front of the truck once you can see the whole cab in your rear-view mirror.
This is possibly the most important rule of all: patience. Give trucks the right of way when turning or changing lanes. If you pass a truck, do so in a safe way. Speeding past a truck, while disregarding any turn signals or awareness of your surroundings, is both dangerous for you and the driver of the big rig.
What To Do If You’re Involved in a Blind Spot Accident
If you are involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler truck in the Baton Rouge or Metairie, LA areas, it’s absolutely vital that you call us right away. The first step after these accidents occur is an investigation on what happened, typically by police and by the trucking company. You’ll need someone on your side to defend your rights, while also gathering all the necessary evidence to get the full picture and uncover who was at-fault.
Don’t hesitate to contact us at the Law Offices of J. Price McNamara to speak with our experienced attorneys. We can navigate the logistics of a blind spot accident case, especially when involving a big rig here in Louisiana.
Following graduation from Loyola Law School in New Orleans in 1990, Price McNamara served as a Federal Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable John M Shaw, Chief Judge, United States District Court Western District of Louisiana.
Mr. McNamara founded the Law Offices of J. Price McNamara, and began putting his past experience to work for the injured and disabled clients he now represents against the insurance companies in personal injury and long term disability and other insurance disputes in both federal and state courts