Truck Blind Spot Accidents in Houston
Houston is a major transportation hub in Texas, with countless trucks traveling through the metropolis in all directions every year. As a result, truck accidents are unfortunately common on Houston roads.
Many Houston truck crashes occur because of negligent drivers who fail to check their blind spots properly. If you were injured in a blind spot accident caused by a careless truck driver, you could be entitled to money for your losses.
The experienced truck accident attorneys of Pines & Goldenzweig, PLLC, can help you pursue the compensation you deserve and hold careless truck drivers accountable. Contact us today to learn more in a free consultation.
What Are Blind Spots?
When a driver is seated in a natural position behind a steering wheel, the vehicle’s structure blocks certain parts of their surroundings from view. These hidden areas are commonly called blind spots.
Blind spots affect all drivers, making it difficult to detect other road users and potential hazards. Most drivers can shift in their seats, check their mirrors, and use modern vehicle safety features to monitor blind spots and avoid blind spot accidents.
Unfortunately, the size and shape of large trucks mean correspondingly huge blind spots. To make matters worse, truck drivers cannot rely on rearview mirrors to see directly behind them.
Regardless, truck drivers are responsible for driving safely and courteously around others, just like all road users. When drivers fail to properly scan semi-truck blind spots before maneuvering, catastrophic wrecks can occur.
Where Are the Blind Spots Around a Truck?
There are four main blind spots around large commercial trucks:
- In the front – The “nose” of a semi can be tall enough to block approximately 20 feet of the road in front of a driver from view.
- To the right of the cab – Truck drivers are often unable to see parts of the road for several feet behind their passenger-side mirrors.
- To the left of the cab – A sizeable zone is typically obscured on the left side of a large truck.
- Behind the trailer – Since the trailer blocks a truck driver’s rearward view, approximately 30 feet of the road behind a trailer is invisible to the driver.
Causes of Blind Spot Crashes in Houston
Every blind spot accident is different, but many of these crashes occur because large truck drivers fail to notice smaller vehicles around them. Common causes of Houston blind spot truck accidents include:
- Distracted driving – Drivers engrossed in distractions such as texting are less likely to detect vehicles in their blind spots in time to avoid crashes.
- Impaired driving – If a truck driver is drunk or high, their visual perception, judgment, and reaction time may all be compromised, making blind spot accidents more likely.
- Fatigued driving – Fatigued driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving, and drowsy truckers are far more likely to overlook potential blind spot hazards.
- Inexperienced driving – Truck drivers with little experience or inadequate training may not remember to check their blind spots as frequently as they should, increasing the risk of blind spot wrecks.
- Reckless driving – If a truck driver behaves recklessly by making unsafe lane changes, speeding, or ignoring the right-of-way, they may not have time to check their blind spots and avoid imminent crashes.
Common Types Truck Blind Spot Accidents
Some of the most common types of accidents associated with truck blind spots are:
- Rear-end collisions – If a smaller vehicle is immediately in front of a large truck, it may be obscured by the nose of the truck. A rear-end crash can occur if the smaller vehicle slows or stops and the truck driver fails to respond in time.
- Sideswipe accidents – Sideswipe blind spot accidents can happen if a trucker makes a wide turn and swings into nearby vehicles alongside the truck. The crashes also occur when a truck driver makes an unsafe lane change.
- Underride or override accidents – These devastating accidents involve smaller vehicles sliding under the frame of a large truck. This can occur when truckers can’t see smaller vehicles due to tailgating, unsafe passing maneuvers, or wide turns.
Blind Spot Statistics
While there are limited recent statistics available for truck blind spot accidents, the following data points from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveal the frequency of different points of impact in reported truck crashes:
- 48.9 percent of injury crashes and 60.6 percent of fatal truck crashes involved an initial point of impact with the front of a large truck.
- 23 percent of injury crashes and 19.4 percent of fatal truck crashes involved an initial rear-end point of impact.
- 11.9 percent of injury crashes and 8.7 percent of fatal truck crashes involved an initial point of impact on the left side of the truck.
- 11.3 percent of injury crashes and 5.7 percent of fatal truck crashes involved an initial right-side point of impact.
Who Is at Fault for a Truck Accident Caused by a Blind Spot?
When it comes to accidents caused by commercial truck blind spots, a truck driver who collides with another vehicle in their blind spot is often at fault. This could be because the driver made an improper lane change or ignored another driver’s right-of-way, for example.
In some cases, another party like the driver’s employer may bear responsibility. For example, if the truck driver crashed because they were fatigued due to unreasonable scheduling demands from their employer, injured victims may be entitled to claim compensation from the trucking company. In addition, employers are typically liable for their employee’s at-fault accidents in any event.
Keep in mind that Texas follows a modified comparative negligence doctrine, which says that the amount of money you could recover after an accident may be reduced if you were partially at fault. If you were more than 50 percent responsible, you would be legally barred from recovering compensation for your injuries.
Contact Our Experienced Houston Truck Accident Lawyer Today
When you’ve been injured in a wreck, you need a knowledgeable Houston truck blind spot accident lawyer. An attorney can help you establish a strong foundation for your claim, avoid common stumbling blocks that could damage your case, and negotiate aggressively for the money you need.
At Pines & Goldenzweig, PLLC, our compassionate team is here to take the pressure off of you during this trying time. With attentive client service and award-winning legal representation, you can count on us to meet your needs while you focus on your health.
To discuss the details of your Houston blind spot truck accident claim with an experienced lawyer, contact us today for a free initial case review.