Semi Truck Blind Spots

The blind spots on large commercial vehicles such as 18-wheelers are significantly larger than those of passenger vehicles. Truck drivers must be aware of these blind spots and take all necessary precautions while driving to prevent dangerous and potentially deadly accidents.

To find out how we can help you, call us at 877-936-9707 or fill out our online contact form for a free and confidential claim evaluation.

If you were injured or if you lost a loved one in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation if the truck driver or the trucking company was negligent. Our truck accident attorneys at Joye Law Firm have decades of experience investigating truck crashes and seeking justice for accident victims in South Carolina. We stand ready to fight for you. We’re familiar with how frequently collisions caused by commercial trucks involve truck drivers’ failure to keep track of vehicles in blind spots. Contact us now to schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable member of our team.

South Carolina Truck Blind Spot Accident Claims

When the driver of a large truck gets behind the wheel, it’s the driver’s responsibility to act safely and be aware of surrounding vehicles on the road at all times. Even when a semi driver can’t see your car in their mirrors, they still have a duty to ensure that an adjacent lane is clear before attempting to merge into it. When a truck driver makes an improper lane change, the driver may collide with a vehicle or multiple vehicles in their blind spot and cause a serious accident.

Some of the most common injuries included in truck blind spot accident claims are:

If negligence on the part of a truck driver or a trucking company caused your injuries, you shouldn’t have to pay for the associated medical bills, damage to your vehicle, and other losses that you’ve incurred. An experienced S.C. truck accident lawyer can investigate your accident and determine what types of compensation that you may seek. The at-fault party may be responsible for:

  • Medical costs you incurred as a result of injuries in a blind spot accident
  • Pain and suffering caused by your injuries
  • Loss of income, if your injuries caused you to miss work
  • Loss of enjoyment of life, if you were permanently affected
  • Loss of consortium, if a spouse was affected
  • Property damage left behind by the accident

Sometimes, an insurance settlement may be difficult to reach or insufficient to cover your expenses after a blind spot accident claim. In these cases, victims are sometimes forced to sue for damages in court.

In South Carolina, personal injury lawsuits are typically subject to a three-year statute of limitations. This means that the moment your accident occurred, the countdown begins on a three-year time limit for you to file a truck accident injury lawsuit. One of our experienced South Carolina accident attorneys can help you understand the proper steps in your case.

How Many Blind Spots Do Trucks Have and Where Are They?

All drivers have areas alongside their vehicle that are more difficult to see. But semi-trucks have especially large blind spots. Since tractor-trailers are so long, certain areas around them are effectively invisible from the cab of a truck, even when mirrors are used. It is possible for several cars to go unnoticed in the blind spots of a single truck.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration refers to the blind spots of large trucks as “no-zones” and encourages drivers to be mindful of them at all times. It is important to remember that if you are in a position in which you can’t see the driver’s reflection in the truck’s mirrors, then the driver of that truck cannot see you. Large trucks have four primary blind spots:

  • In front of the truck – The cab of a semi-truck is tall enough to prevent drivers from seeing objects directly in front of them on the road. A no-zone of approximately 20 feet extends just in front of a large truck’s cab.
  • To the right of the truck cab – The area behind a big truck’s passenger-side mirror is another major blind spot. Drivers may be unable to see parts of the road extending several lanes in this direction.
  • To the left of the truck cab – Since American drivers are situated on the left, the left-hand blind spot area is slightly smaller for trucks. The no-zone behind the left-hand cab mirror is still large enough to cover an entire lane of traffic.
  • Behind the truck or trailer – Large trucks do not have rear-view mirrors, so they have large blind spots behind them. At least 30 feet of road tends to be invisible behind tractor trailers, so tailgating a truck is especially dangerous.

Many of today’s large commercial trucks are equipped with special mirrors or blind spot sensors. These additions can help a truck driver monitor existing blind spots and be more aware of vehicles in adjacent lanes. However, blind spot monitoring systems do not relieve a truck driver of the responsibility to remain aware of their surroundings.

Best Ways to Avoid Truck Blind Spots

The best way to avoid a truck’s blind spots is to know where the blind spots are. All drivers have a duty to drive with reasonable caution to prevent injury to others on the road. Part of that duty is understanding how to maneuver safely around large vehicles. To steer clear of truck blind spots and prevent collisions, motorists can:

  • Avoid driving too close to the rear of a tractor trailer
  • Avoid driving too close to the front passenger side of a truck’s cab
  • Pass trucks quickly on the left side.
  • Make a point to keep a truck’s mirrors in sight at all times
  • Avoid lingering near trucks preparing to turn, change lanes, stop, or reverse

Even drivers who follow all of the above guidelines can still be injured in truck blind spot accidents. Safe driving does not prevent a careless truck driver from making unpredictable lane changes. Commercial truck drivers who fail to check for other vehicles in their blind spots can cause serious accidents and may be at fault for any resulting damages.

Who is Liable in a South Carolina Truck Blind Spot Accident?

In most truck blind spot accident cases, a truck driver who merges into an occupied lane and hits another vehicle is at fault for making an improper lane change and violating the other driver’s right of way.

Large truck accident cases often involve multiple insurance companies that will attempt to shift the blame wherever possible. The parties that are potentially liable include the truck drivers, their employers, and even entities who own cargo being hauled by the truck. Each may have separate insurance, complicating the settlement negotiations.

The state of South Carolina follows a modified comparative negligence doctrine. According to South Carolina law, plaintiffs can only recover damages if they are assigned 50 percent or less of the fault for the accident. If your accident case ends up in court and the truck driver’s legal team proves you are 51 percent or more responsible, you are no longer legally entitled to compensation. You could be found partially liable for a blind spot accident if you were doing something like speeding, tailgating, or lane-weaving.

A dedicated truck accident attorney can gather evidence of how the accident occurred to support your claim and advocate on your behalf. Lawyers communicate on your behalf to help you avoid self-incriminating statements, and can assist in gathering useful evidence of liability for your case such as:

  • Police accident reports
  • The commercial driver’s logbooks or phone records
  • The commercial driver’s work and maintenance history
  • Eyewitness accounts of the accident
  • Photos of the accident scene and resulting damage or injury
  • Video footage from traffic or dashboard cameras
  • Expert witness testimony, such as accident reconstruction reports

Contact a South Carolina Truck Accident Lawyer

If you have been injured in a South Carolina truck blind spot accident, you may be wondering how you’ll recover from your injuries and pay your medical bills. The good news is that you don’t have to fight the battle alone. Our attorneys at Joye Law Firm have represented injury victims in Charleston, Columbia, Myrtle Beach, and surrounding communities for more than 50 years.

We recognize the impact that our results have on our Palmetto State neighbors, which is why we only consider ourselves successful when we make a positive difference in our clients’ lives. At Joye Law Firm, we truly care and we’re eager to earn your trust. Call us at 888-324-3100 or contact us online for a free consultation on your case today.

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