Virginia Blind Spot Truck Accident Lawyer

All vehicles have blind spots, but a tractor trailer with an average length of 70 to 80 feet has significantly greater blind spots than a passenger vehicle. When a passenger vehicle is in one of the “no-zones” of an 18-wheeler, a serious accident can occur if the trucker fails to exercise due caution in changing lanes, turning, or braking.

A Virginia blind spot truck accident lawyer can help those injured in no-zone accidents to get the compensation they deserve. Call and schedule a free consultation with a Virginia truck injury lawyer today to discuss your case.

Commonality of Blind Spot Accidents in Toledo

Larger vehicles have larger blind spots because mirrors do not cover everything. Blind spot accidents happen when a vehicle is in the blind spot of a truck. The driver cannot see the vehicle in their blind spot and may hit them if they change lanes or merge onto a roadway.

Blind spot truck accidents most commonly occur on highways, especially multi-lane highways, specifically interstate highways and roads where vehicles travel side-by-side and may not necessarily see each other. Blind spot truck accidents are not as common in residential areas. On highways where it is not uncommon for cars to be moving about, it is much more common for that type accident to occur.

What Are the Blind Spots of a Tractor Trailer?

Large trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds without any oversize or overweight permits, compared to the average vehicle weight of 5,000 pounds. They are more than 13 feet tall and 70-80 feet long. The sheer size of a large truck creates far more and larger blind spots than those in a typical car, pickup truck, or SUV.

Additionally, because of the weight of the vehicle, a large truck requires a much greater stopping distance than a passenger vehicle—up to 430 feet when traveling at 55 miles per hour. This creates an additional no-zone in front of the truck.

According to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), there are four no-zones a passenger vehicle driver should avoid:

  • Directly in front of the truck – The first 20 feet directly beyond the hood of the truck is a blind spot big enough to completely obscure a passenger vehicle.
  • Driver’s side – The blind spot on the driver’s side of the truck extends from the driver’s door to about halfway down the length of the trailer. Lingering in this area puts a driver at risk if the truck driver moves into the left lane.
  • Passenger side – The blind spot on the right side of the tractor trailer is quite large, extending from the front of the truck to the rear of the trailer at a width of three lanes. Drivers should never attempt to pass a large truck on the right, as it not only puts them in an extensive blind spot, but also puts the driver at risk of a t-bone collision if the truck makes a wide right turn.
  • Directly behind the trailer – Many trailers have stickers on the back proclaiming, “If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you.” Driving in the blind spot behind the trailer leaves a passenger vehicle susceptible to underride accidents, in which a vehicle involved in a rear-end collision with a large truck breaks through a rear-impact guard and slides beneath the trailer.

It is important for drivers to understand the no-zones and avoid a truck’s blind spots, but truck drivers are not excused from safe driving by the mere presence of substantial blind spots. Contact a Virginia blind spot truck accident lawyer to learn more.

Damages for the Driver Responsible for the Crash

When the driver of the car causes truck blind spot accidents in Virginia they are not entitled to damages. Virginia is a contributory negligence state. That means when a driver is even one percent responsible, they are legally barred from recovering for damages sustained in the accident. Other states including the majority of the country are contributory negligence states.

Under the contributory negligence doctrine, one can receive damages, even deducted at a pro rata basis by the proportion the wreck. When a driver is 20 percent at fault, they can still make an 80 percent recovery. In Virginia, when a person has any fault for the accident, they are legally barred from making a recovery.

Speak to an Attorney about Truck Blind Spot Accidents

Truck blind spot accidents in Virginia present a unique opportunity to collect evidence in the early stages of the case. The physical damage to a motor vehicle or any physically-damaged truck should be preserved to test for mechanical issues or known mechanical failures.

It is relevant to determine whether the truck’s brakes failed because the trucking company used substandard parts or if the driver’s fatigue was recorded on the black box. All of these things would be examples of evidence that can be preserved if properly identified at an early stage in the case. Therefore, it is important to contact an experienced trucking accident attorney as soon as possible to create the possible defense scenarios.