How Hazardous are the Blind Spots on 18-Wheelers?
The blind spots on a large truck are extremely dangerous. Drivers need to learn where these spots are, and they need to learn what a truck driver can and cannot see. If you are injured in a crash with an 18-wheeler in Massachusetts, contact a Woburn truck accident attorney at once.
Due to a truck’s size, the blind spots on an 18-wheeler are considerably larger than similar spots on other vehicles. There are four main blind spots on an 18-wheeler: in the front, the back, and each side. Drivers must drive with caution in order to avoid truck accidents related to blind spots.
What is your legal recourse if you’re injured in an accident with a truck? Can you recover compensation for truck accident injuries? When should you call the offices of a Woburn truck accident lawyer? Keep reading for the answers you may need.
What Are the Facts About Truck Crashes?
The weight and momentum of an 18-wheeler on the highway can cause fatalities and disabling, catastrophic injuries. Fully loaded, an 18-wheeler on the highway may surpass 80,000 pounds, while the average automobile only weighs about 2,500 to 4,000 pounds.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that fatalities in accidents that involved at least one large truck jumped 13 percent from 2020 through 2021. This means that in 2021, more than 5,600 fatalities were reported in truck crashes across the U.S.
More than 80 percent of those 5,600 fatalities were victims who were not driving or riding in the truck: other drivers and their passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
Where Are the Blind Spots on an 18-Wheeler?
Every motorist in Massachusetts needs to learn about and avoid the main blind spots on 18-wheelers. These four spots are:
- In the front of a truck for roughly twenty feet: A truck driver cannot see a vehicle in a twenty-foot area immediately in front of a truck. Big trucks need extra time and space for braking and stopping, so driving in front of a large truck is exceedingly hazardous.
- Behind a truck for approximately thirty feet: The blind spot behind trucks is quite large, so never drive right behind an 18-wheeler. If you cannot see a truck driver in one of the side mirrors, the driver cannot see you either.
- Behind and under a truck’s right and left side mirrors: Truck drivers cannot see you on either of a truck’s sides or behind the truck if your own vehicle is behind and below a truck’s mirrors.
If you pass a truck, make the pass on the truck’s left. For all practical purposes, a truck’s right side is one enormous blind spot. When you pass, don’t move back quickly in front of the truck. Keep in your own lane until there is a substantial distance between the truck and your own vehicle.
Tips for Avoiding Blind Spots
When you drive, maintain as much space as possible between your own vehicle and an 18-wheeler. These trucks have no rearview mirrors and no rear windshields, so a trucker’s visibility is far more restricted than your own. The bigger a truck is, the bigger that truck’s blind spots are.
When you see trucks making turns, be extraordinarily careful. When truck drivers make right turns, a truck will swing left – at first – but don’t move over then to that truck’s right. The truck will swing right, and you’ll be trapped. Apply the same principle in reverse when trucks turn left.
What Should You Do When a Truck Crash Happens?
After a truck accident, calling for medical help is the number one priority. You also should call for the police, swap personal and insurance contact information with the truck’s driver, and take photos of the accident site, the vehicle damages, and your own injuries.
If eyewitnesses saw the collision, ask for their names and their personal contact information. If you subsequently file a personal injury claim, your Woburn truck accident attorney may contact those witnesses for their statements or testimony.
If you aren’t treated on-scene or rushed to an ER, try to obtain a medical examination in no more than twenty-four hours. A medical examination establishes how, when, and how seriously you were hurt, and without it you may not be able to proceed with your injury claim.
If you sustain a personal injury in a truck accident, do not sign any insurance forms, accept any settlement offers, or even make a formal statement to an insurance company before you have consulted a Massachusetts truck accident lawyer.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Right Away
Do not wait to call a Woburn truck accident lawyer’s office after you’ve been hurt in a collision with a large truck. Make that call at once after you’ve been seen by a health care provider, and your attorney will determine if you’re eligible to take legal action.
In personal injury cases, a victim only recovers compensation if a negligent party has the ability to pay. However, in truck accident cases, the insurance that an 18-wheeler requires makes it likely that plaintiffs will actually receive the compensation they are entitled to by law.
The Massachusetts statute of limitations gives you three years to initiate legal action after a truck-related injury, but practically speaking, you must arrange for a legal consultation as rapidly as you can after you receive medical treatment.
A truck accident lawyer needs to see the evidence in the case immediately and question the eyewitnesses before their memories fade. With a personal injury claim, you may recover compensation for current and future medical costs, current and projected future lost wages, and other injury-related losses.
What’s Important to Remember About Truck Accidents?
When someone is injured in Massachusetts by someone else’s negligence, in a truck collision or in any other type of accident, that victim is entitled under Massachusetts law to recover compensation.
At a no-cost, no-obligation first legal consultation with your personal injury lawyer, you’ll receive personalized legal advice and learn how Massachusetts law applies in your case. Should you move forward with legal action, you’ll pay your lawyer no fee upfront and no fee until you are compensated.
Death or permanent disability is too often the outcome of truck collisions in Massachusetts. Drive with care, and keep some distance between your own vehicle and the large trucks on this state’s roads and highways.