Some vehicles offer better all-around visibility than others, but there is no car or truck that is free of blind spots. More concerning, blind spots on larger vehicles, such as semi-trucks and SUVs, are even more pronounced.
What is a blind spot? Any area around a car or truck that cannot be directly observed by its driver is considered to be a blind spot. Side mirrors, rearview mirrors, and obstructive interiors, such as the vehicle’s pillar supports, are common potential blind spots sources.
Similarly, drivers may also be found negligent for creating additional blind spots by placing cargo in their vehicle that further impedes their field of vision.
How common are blind spot accidents? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 840,000 blind spot accidents occur each year in the United States, resulting in 300 fatalities and thousands of injuries ranging from minor to traumatic.
Because blind spot accidents continue to occur at an alarming pace, it is important that we all become better acquainted with this roadway danger.
Common Types of Blind Spot Auto Accidents
The classic blind spot car accident occurs while a driver is attempting to merge into another lane and fails to check their blind spot. As a result, the negligent driver either does not see the vehicle next to them or one that is quickly approaching.
The most two common types of collisions we see from lane-change blind spot accidents include:
- Front-to-Rear Collisions
- Side-to-Side or Sideswipe Collisions
And while blind spot accidents often occur between traditional automobiles, reduced visibility plays an even more dangerous role in other types of accidents, including those that involve:
Put simply, if blind spots regularly cause drivers not to see larger cars and trucks, the chances are exponentially higher that they will not see any of the people listed above.
There is also a growing number of lesser-known blind spot accidents that involve children. Known as “forward blind zone” or “front blind zone” accidents, these incidents most often occur in driveways, parking lots, and other locations commonly associated with lower speeds.
The forward/front blind zone exists directly in front of a vehicle where there is zero visibility. And, unfortunately, due to the popularity of larger SUVs and crossovers that sit higher off the ground, this means there are millions of vehicles with larger forward-facing blind spots.
As a result, we have witnessed an increase in the number of children who are injured or killed after being rolled over in blind spot accidents.
Semi-Trucks & Commercial Vehicle Blind Spots
There is no more frightening image than seeing a semi-truck, large bus, or delivery truck, begin to merge into your lane or path. Any resulting contact with a commercial vehicle, no matter how slight, can result in traumatic injuries to you and other drivers.
It’s a fact: drivers of cars, SUVs, and passenger trucks remain in a semi-truck’s blind spot for a much longer period of time than those of other vehicles. And despite the additional mirror size(s) and type(s), when you are in a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle’s blind spot you are invisible.
As a result, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has championed a long-running safety campaign known as the “No-Zone.” The purpose of the No-Zone is to identify the different areas where your vehicle disappears from a semi-truck driver’s field of vision. (No-Zones also exist for buses and other large commercial vehicles.)
Being fully aware of the No-Zone, and exercising caution around larger vehicles can help to reduce your risk of being involved in a serious collision.
Blind Spot Accident Prevention Technology
Auto manufacturers have been outfitting newer vehicles with an expanding list of safety technologies, and a number of innovations have been dedicated to blind spot accident prevention.
Specifically, there are three better-known blind spot technologies on a number of vehicles:
- Rear, Front, and Sideview Cameras – These cameras help to give better visibility to blind spots that exist behind, in front, and beside a vehicle. Each of these cameras allows drivers to better see what is happening around their vehicle, such as when changing lanes, backing out of a driveway or parking space, and/or seeing what is in their forward blind zone.
- Blind Spot Warnings – Automobiles with this technology will emit an audible or visual signal that tells a driver another vehicle is in their blind spot.
- Automatic Emergency Steering – If a driver puts on their turn signal and another vehicle is in the adjacent lane, this technology will automatically brake or steer the vehicle in an attempt to avoid the blind spot collision.
Unfortunately, these technologies are often not standard and usually require the consumer to pay upgrade costs.
Interestingly, there are also a number of conceptual blind spot technologies that appear to be incredibly effective but have yet to be put into production.
One such prototype was developed by a young inventor who devised a clever way to remove A-pillar blind spots. In short, her blind spot invention uses a retroreflective fabric to make a vehicle’s A-pillars invisible!
For drivers who have an older vehicle or did not upgrade to include these types of technologies, there are still options to help decrease blind spot risks, such as convex or blind spot mirrors. These mirrors can be purchased at an auto parts store and affixed to your vehicle for additional blind spot visibility.
Blind Spot Car & Truck Accident Injuries
Any blind spot collision has the potential to result in injuries, however, depending on the speed and the types of vehicles involved, these accidents have the potential to be traumatic.
A blind spot accident between two passenger vehicles might be more likely to result in soft-tissue injuries vs. a collision with a semi-truck, that could inflict more serious injuries, such as:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Wrongful death
If your injuries were the result of a blind spot accident, you may be entitled to seek compensation from the negligent driver’s auto insurance company for certain damages including but not limited to the following:
- Medical bills and expenses related to your injuries
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Replacement of vehicle or repair costs
If you have questions about the specific types of compensation you may be entitled to, we recommend that you peak with an experienced Indianapolis personal injury attorney.
Involved in a Blind Spot Auto Accident? Talk to Matt!
Due to the frequency of blind spot accidents, personal injury attorney Matt Boulton has investigated a number of these collisions in various settings, including:
Insurance companies will aggressively defend these cases, as liability is often disputed. As such, if you were injured in a blind spot accident, we recommend you speak to Matt and learn more about your rights.
Boulton Law Group offers all injured Hoosiers a Zero Fee Guarantee. This promise means you will never pay for a consultation and the firm receives nothing until we win your case.
To speak to Matt direct, call 317-350-2680. Or if you prefer to write to us, Matt reviews all website contacts sent through our confidential contact form.
We look forward to hearing your story and learning how we can help!
Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 20 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana reclaim what was taken from them. His firm was created for for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.