Baltimore Blind Spot Truck Accident Lawyer
Commercial trucks have blind spots all around the vehicle that can conceal large areas – and everything in them – from the driver’s view. When truck drivers fail to check these blind spots before changing lanes or turning, they risk devastating collisions with vehicles they failed to notice.
If you were injured in a blind spot truck accident in Baltimore through no fault of your own, you could be entitled to substantial compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other losses. Let the attorneys at the law firm of Cohen & Dwin, P.A. help you pursue maximum compensation. We have decades of experience advocating for the rights of injury victims in Baltimore and throughout Maryland. We are prepared to do what it takes to get you the accountability and justice you deserve.
Contact us now for a free consultation with a blind spot truck accident lawyer in Baltimore.
Where Are Truckers’ Blind Spots?
Recent statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveal that driver distraction and inattention, which can lead to failure to monitor blind spots, is the second-most common operator-related factor in fatal truck accidents.
Every vehicle has blind spots, which are the areas around the outside of the vehicle that are not visible to the driver. Due to their large size, commercial trucks have more prominent blind spots than passenger vehicles, even with specialized mirrors. It is not uncommon for one or even several smaller vehicles to go unnoticed in these blind spots, which are also called “no zones.”
Every large truck has the following “no zones,” according to the FMCSA:
- Rear-end no zones – Few large trucks are equipped with interior rear-view mirrors, as the trucks’ trailers or cargo boxes would block their view. As a result, truck drivers have large blind spots directly behind them, extending up to 30 feet to the rear of the trailer.
- Front-end no zones – Although truck drivers can typically see far ahead because of their high position above the road, a truck’s long hood can prevent them from seeing objects directly in front of them. This front-end no zone can extend roughly 20 ahead of the truck’s cab.
- Right-hand no zones – The area behind a truck’s right side-view mirror is another prominent blind spot. Due to the side-view mirror’s angle, the truck’s shape, and the fact that drivers sit on the left-hand side of the cab, drivers may be unable to see large parts of the road for multiple lanes to their right.
- Left-hand no zones – Drivers sit on the left in America, so truck drivers are closer to their left side-view mirrors and consequently have a better viewing angle on that side. In other words, a truck’s left-hand no zone is slightly smaller than its right-hand no zone. Still, the no zone that extends diagonally backward from the left-hand side-view mirror can conceal an entire traffic lane.
Determining Trucker Driver Negligence in Baltimore
A truck driver whose failure to check their blind spots led to a collision can be held liable for any injuries and other losses they caused. To establish liability, a lawyer will look at whether the truck driver engaged in any negligent behaviors before the wreck, such as:
- Distracted driving – If a truck driver isn’t paying full attention to the task at hand, they are far more likely to overlook any road users in their blind spots.
- Driving under the influence – The cognitive effects of alcohol, recreational drugs, and even certain legal medications can severely impair depth perception, reaction time, and other abilities essential to blind spot monitoring.
- Drowsy driving – Driver fatigue can occur when drivers ignore federal hours of service (HOS) limits. Tired drivers are less likely to remember to check their blind spots.
- Failure to monitor – Inexperienced truck drivers are likelier to forget to monitor their blind spots or fail to recognize when blind spot wrecks are imminent.
- Failure to yield or signal – If a truck driver fails to yield the right-of-way or signal before turning, they increase the risk of colliding with other road users who can’t predict their behavior.
What You Need to Know About Maryland Contributory Negligence Laws
Maryland is one of just a handful of states to follow a legal doctrine known as pure contributory negligence. The rule means you are permitted to seek compensation from at-fault parties in a car accident only if you were not at fault in any way for the crash. If your share of the blame is even 1 percent, you will be barred from pursuing compensation in court. That is why it is essential to work with an attorney who knows Maryland law and can protect your right to compensation.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Blind Spot Accident?
Depending on the circumstances, any of the following parties may be partially or fully liable for a blind spot truck accident in Baltimore:
- The truck driver
- Another driver or road user involved in the crash
- The trucking company that employs the driver
- The owner of the cargo
- The manufacturer of the truck
- A truck repair shop or technician that worked on the truck
- The person or team that loaded cargo onto the truck
- A local government entity if poor road conditions contributed to the crash
Safety Tips for Driving Near an 18-Wheeler
If you are a driver in Baltimore, you can follow these tips from the FMCSA to stay safe while driving near 18-wheelers:
- Know where a truck’s blind spots are and avoid lingering in them.
- Keep in mind that big trucks require longer stopping distances.
- Anticipate wide right and left turns from large trucks.
- Follow behind trucks at a safe distance to avoid rear-end no zones.
- Take special care when passing trucks, especially on inclines or declines.
- Avoid driving while distracted or impaired, and always wear a seat belt.
Call Our Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers Today
If you have been injured in a blind spot tractor-trailer accident in Baltimore, do not hesitate to contact the experienced legal team at Cohen & Dwin, P.A. We can answer your legal questions and evaluate your case for free during an initial consultation.