Every vehicle on the road has at least one blind spot. It is that spot where you can’t see other cars, even if you look in your mirrors or turn your head. Because you can’t tell what is in your blind spot, you are at increased risk of getting into an accident when a vehicle is there.
The same is true for trucks. The big difference is that trucks have multiple blind spots, and they are often quite large. Depending on the size of the truck and the way it is designed, it can be almost impossible to stay out of the blind spot of a truck.
While truck drivers receive additional training beyond most drivers to avoid accidents, these blind spots are still one of the main causes of truck accidents in Texas.
Truck Accident Statistics in Texas
In 2021, over 4,000 people died in car accidents in Texas. More than 700 of those deaths occurred in accidents involving commercial motor vehicles. Compared to the over 38,000 commercial motor vehicle crashes in the same year, that is a pretty low fatality rate. But any deaths are still unfortunate.
How Many Truck Accidents Were Caused by Blind Spots?
Unfortunately, Texas doesn’t keep statistics on how many accidents were caused by blind spots. Anecdotally, though, roughly a third of truck accidents are blamed on blind spots. If that holds for Texas, almost 13,000 of those accidents resulted from not being able to see the other driver.
How To Avoid a Truck’s Blind Spot
Unless there is a significant improvement in technology, blind spots aren’t going anywhere any time soon. This means that if you want to avoid getting into a truck accident, you need to stay out of the blind spot of these vehicles.
The best way to determine whether you are in the blind spot of a truck is to look for its mirrors. If you can see a mirror, the truck driver can probably see your car.
However, you shouldn’t take this as a guarantee. A driver can usually only see one mirror at a time and may be looking at other parts of the road. To ensure a driver has seen your car, you should try to keep your distance while able to see the mirror for about a minute. This gives the driver time to see you and note your car.
Unfortunately, even when you are taking this precaution, there are still areas on most 18-wheelers where you can see the mirrors, but the driver can’t see your car. This means that you should take additional precautions when driving near a truck.
The main precaution you should take is to avoid passing in an adjacent lane, if possible. If you are driving on a road with only two lanes, this isn’t possible, but you should follow this rule on any highway with three or more lanes.
Finally, always pass a truck quickly. Slowly passing a truck increases the amount of time you spend in the driver’s blind spot and increases the likelihood of an accident. It is better to speed up (even if that means breaking the speed limit) and pass a truck quickly than to stay near a truck for any significant amount of time.
Don’t Become a Blind Spot Truck Accident Statistic
Texas roads are home to thousands of trucks driving millions of miles. Stay safe while driving near commercial vehicles, and try to avoid entering blind spots. It is better to slow down and get to your destination late than never to get there at all.
If you’ve been injured in a blind spot collision, contact an experienced Austin truck accident lawyer for assistance.
Other Truck Cases We Handle
- What Does It Mean for a Truck to Jackknife?
- Types of Commercial Driver’s Licenses
- Truck Driver Fatigue
- Commercial Motor Vehicle Accident Factors or Causes
- 18-Wheeler Accident Settlements