Anyone who’s driven a car before knows there are places you can’t see. Directly behind you and triangles of space behind your shoulders are where cars, motorcycles, bicyclists, children, and pets can hide.
We refer to these spaces as blind spots, and they can be incredibly dangerous if a driver isn’t aware of them, doesn’t use the mirrors properly, and doesn’t perform shoulder checks. Thousands of accidents are caused every year because of blind spots, and people are injured or killed in these crashes.
Blind Spots in Cars
Many people think of the issue with blind spots when they’re driving and another car is hiding just behind them to the right or left. This is definitely a major issue, and people need to be careful when making any type of lane change, whether it’s in town or on the highway.
But blind spots also affect other aspects of driving. When you’re backing up, you might not see people, bikers, or other cars behind you. Large trucks, SUVs and vans have significant blind spots directly behind them. An average driver in a small SUV can’t see 13 feet behind the vehicle while in the driver’s seat, according to Consumer Reports. A short driver in a large SUV can’t see 31 feet behind the vehicle.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 18,000 people are hurt and 300 killed by backover crashes. Every year many children are injured or killed because someone doesn’t see them when backing up.
With this information, it’s no surprise that rear cameras are growing in popularity. They’re a major safety feature.
Blind Spots in Trucks
Compared to cars and even SUVs, semi-trucks have significantly larger blind spots in front of the cab, behind the trailer, and to the sides. No matter the size of a truck’s mirrors, a driver won’t ever be able to see everywhere on the road. Cars can hide right in front of, behind the truck, and to the side of the trailer.
If the driver doesn’t keep track of cars on the road or use the mirrors properly, a truck could change lanes into another vehicle. It’s possible a simple lane change could cause a multi-car crash. A semi could easily back up and hit a car, truck, motorcyclist or person. Considering the weight of a semi-truck, any accident involving a semi will likely cause significant injuries to all involved, possibly also fatalities.
Avoiding Blind Spot Accidents
There’s no way to get rid of all blind spots in a vehicle but drivers can significantly minimize them. People need to properly adjust their mirrors. They can ask someone to stand at back corners of their cars and when they glance over at the mirror they should see the whole person. The driver should be able to see the side of the car and behind it in each side mirror.
Even with mirrors, drivers should turn and perform quick over-the-shoulder checks when making a lane change.
How an Illinois Lawyer Can Help You
Additionally, before backing out of the driveway, it’s best to ensure there’s nothing directly behind the car – particularly if the driver has children or there are many children in the neighborhood. A driver should also stop at the sidewalk and before fully backing out into the street.
If possible, new cars should come with rear backup cameras. These make backing up much safer and help with parking. If you or a loved one were hurt in a blind-spot-related accident, call an Illinois attorney from Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 to learn what you can do to recover.