Blind Spot Truck Accident Lawyers
Blind Spot Truck Accident Lawyers

Blind Spot Truck Accident Lawyers

Every motor vehicle has blind spots, but the blind spots for massive 18-wheeler trucks are much bigger than those for small passenger cars. On top of that, semi-trucks have additional blind spots that passenger cars do not. Given the size and number of these blind spots, it’s possible for multiple vehicles to hide in them, creating a very dangerous situation.

If you’ve been in a truck accident and suspect that blind spots played a role, it’s important to learn as much as possible about these dangerous areas.

Where Are a Truck’s Blind Spots?

Blind spots are areas alongside a vehicle that a driver cannot see in their field of vision or by using rearview or side-view mirrors. If you drive a car, you know that the blind spots in the standard car are over the driver’s right and left shoulders to the back and sides of the vehicle. Blind spots exist because of simple physics: A driver’s combined fields of vision, including mirrors, do not provide a full, 360-degree view around the vehicle.

 The driver of a passenger car can compensate by turning their head to the left or right to check their blind spots before merging or making turns. The driver can also lean forward to change the angle of their field of vision and scan blind spots with their side-view mirrors.

The blind spots for a semi-truck are much larger than they are for a small passenger car, even though a semi-truck driver sets much higher and has larger rearview mirrors. These trucks have larger blind spots for several different reasons:

  • They lack a central rearview mirror
  • The height and size of the cab make it difficult to see anything close to it
  • The length of a semi-truck combined with the limited field of vision of side view mirrors results in long blind spots that can stretch up to 80 feet alongside a truck’s trailer

These factors combined to create several large blind spots for the driver of a semi-truck. The locations of these blind spots are:

  • The first 20 feet directly in front of the cab
  • About 30 feet directly behind the trailer
  • Along each side of the trailer, extending backward diagonally from the cab
  • Just below and behind the driver’s window

Many newer semi-trucks do have an electronic blind spot warning system that alerts a truck driver if a car enters the blind spots on the sides of the truck. In a typical blind spot warning system, two radar sensors on each side of the truck scan the adjacent lanes along the length of the trailer and the area just behind the trailer. If a vehicle is detected by the radar sensors, a visual indicator lights up in the driver’s side view mirrors.

 If the driver misses this indicator and activates their turn signal in anticipation of changing lanes, the system will emit an audible warning to let the driver know they could be heading into an accident. While the system can detect safety barriers or parked cars, these do not trigger an alarm from the blind spot warning system.

These systems can be highly effective. One 11-month study from the Department of Transportation revealed that a laser-based system installed on 20 large commercial trucks reduced the number of safety-related events by 50 percent.

The Dangers of Truck Blind Spots

Blind spots are fairly notorious in the commercial trucking industry, where they are commonly known as “no zones” because drivers should not linger in these areas. However, avoiding a truck driver’s blind spots is nearly impossible, especially on smaller roads and in heavy traffic.

In fact, it is misleading for truck drivers and companies to refer to their blind spots as “no zones” because it suggests that the driver may be in the wrong for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Make no mistake; it is a truck driver’s responsibility to check their blind spots regularly.

Unfortunately, many accidents are caused by truck drivers not checking their blind spots. Additionally, some drivers do not properly position their side view mirrors, making it difficult for them to see vehicles that they would otherwise normally recognize.

If you are driving a passenger car and your side view mirrors are not correctly positioned, you can look over your shoulder and all around you to make sure there isn’t a vehicle in your blind spot. Truck drivers have very limited fields of vision and can’t be sure if there is a car they can’t see because their mirrors are improperly aligned.

Causes of Truck Blind Spot Accidents

Because semi-trucks are so big and heavy, they’re capable of causing a lot more damage than a passenger car. Blind spots make it dangerous enough to drive these massive machines, but the risk of an accident is even higher if a driver fails to operate their vehicle safely or if their vehicle isn’t properly maintained.


Sadly, the job of a professional truck driver can be a physically demanding one, and many drivers push themselves to drive when they are fatigued. One study of truck accidents found that 13 percent of drivers were considered fatigued when the accident happened.

Research has also shown that people who are drowsy behind the wheel may as well be intoxicated when it comes to their decision-making and reaction time. On top of that, a drowsy truck driver is less likely to check their blind spots before merging or making a turn.

To be clear, trucking companies may contribute to driver fatigue by setting unrealistic schedules and expectations. Excessive demands can push drivers to operate their vehicles for long hours or while sleep-deprived. The federal government has recognized this issue, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted regulations in response. Hours-of-service rules place restrictions on the number of hours that a driver can spend on the road per day and per week.

These rules also establish mandatory rest periods between driving shifts. Drivers are required to take longer rest periods on weekends to offset the cumulative effects of fatigue. Hours-of-service rules include:

  • An 11-Hour Driving Limit. A driver can drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours of rest. This limit can be extended if a driver encounters bad driving conditions.
  • A Consecutive 14-Hour Limit. A driver cannot drive for more than 14 consecutive hours after 10 consecutive hours of rest. Rest time in those consecutive hours does not extend the 14-hour period. This limit can be extended if a driver encounters bad driving conditions.
  • Mandatory Rest Break. A driver that has accumulated 8 hours of drive time must take at least a 30-minute break, which can be spent eating, napping, exercising, or otherwise not driving.
  • 60/70 Hour Limit. The driver cannot drive after 60 or 70 hours on duty over the course of seven or eight days, respectively. The seven- or eight-day period Restarts after a driver takes at least 34 consecutive hours off duty.

Improperly Loaded or Overloaded Cargo

Another common cause of blindside accidents is having a truck that is improperly loaded or overloaded. When a truck is carrying too much cargo or cargo that hasn’t been properly stowed, it’s harder to control and more vulnerable to bad conditions. Putting too much cargo into a tractor-trailer also impairs its braking ability, making it take longer for the truck to stop. This can cause drivers to misjudge the distance needed to stop their trucks. An overloaded or poorly loaded truck is also more likely to be in a rollover accident because a heavy load can suddenly shift during a turn or sharp lane change.

Drivers and trucking companies are legally responsible for ensuring safe cargo carrying. According to federal regulations, trucks have limits for both their gross axle weight and their combination weight. A load should never exceed these limits. While we’d like to think that trucks are always under their weight limits, the reality is that trucks are often overloaded in order to reduce operational costs.

When a truck is overloaded, those responsible aren’t just breaking the law; they are also being negligent. If an overloaded truck gets into an accident that causes injuries, causes damage, or kills somebody, those responsible for overloading the truck can be found liable.

Attorneys experienced in these matters understand the dangers of overloading a truck and how this can make blind spots even more dangerous. Blind spot truck accident lawyers understand how to consider all factors, including factors related to cargo.

Mechanical Failure

A semi-truck has many different mechanical systems, and if one of these systems fails, it can lead to an accident. While an experienced truck driver may be able to overcome an equipment failure, these are dangerous situations that can be difficult to overcome.

Trucking companies are responsible for maintaining their vehicles. If maintenance schedules aren’t followed or if shortcuts are taken, the risk of mechanical failure increases. This is another situation in which those responsible could be found negligent and liable in the case of an accident.

Common Types of Truck Blind Spot Accidents in Kansas

Blind spot accidents typically take place at intersections, in roundabouts, and on multi-lane roads because of the level of visibility needed in these situations.

Rear-end collisions are among the most frequent accidents that take place because of truck blind spots. If a trucker cannot see a vehicle directly in front of them, they won’t be able to stop in time if the car hits the brakes, crashing into the car’s back end. If a car is traveling too close to a truck’s rear blind spot, the driver is at significant risk of crashing into the back of the truck.

Merging accidents are another common type of blind spot collision. Truck drivers who do not keep an eye on nearby vehicles and do not regularly check their blind spots may not see other vehicles when changing lanes or merging into traffic. This situation can easily result in sideswipe collisions. Or, other vehicles might be forced off the road by a truck driver merging into traffic without checking their blind spots. It’s also possible that a blindly merging truck will force other cars into lanes of oncoming traffic, resulting in head-on crashes.

The large blind spots on a truck can also cause override/underride accident situations. A trucker who cannot see a smaller car on their side or directly in front of them may run over the smaller vehicle. This deadly situation is called an override accident. If a smaller vehicle slides under a truck’s trailer, it is called an underride accident.

Who Is Liable for Truck Blind Spot Accidents in Kansas?

More often than not, the reason behind a truck accident is presumed to be the careless conduct of the trucker that was involved. Undoubtedly, truck drivers often have at least a share of the blame, as their job can be quite demanding. On top of that, one small mistake can lead to devastating consequences. That said, there are causes that go beyond truck operator error.

Heavy traffic and bad road conditions also boost the probability of a blind spot truck crash. Nevertheless, a trucker and/or their business may be responsible for all the damages brought on by an accident.

Some trucking businesses are shielded from the consequences of a serious accident by big insurance companies and a legal defense team. However, effective blind spot truck accident lawyers should be able to get victims the compensation they need by collecting evidence and building a strong legal case. The evidence brought forth by a blind spot truck accident lawyer can take several forms.

Electronic Control Modules

Many semi-trucks now have a “black box” known as an Electronic Control Module, or ECM for short. ECMs are usually systems composed of several individual computers and detector devices that keep track of and manage various components of engine and truck performance, including the transmission, anti-lock brake systems, and other functions.

After an accident, collecting the ECM is essential to proving whether the truck driver was speeding when the accident took place. The ECM can also indicate if the driver did not apply the brakes at the appropriate time or committed some other mistake that resulted in the crash. Furthermore, the ECM may offer details on whether a mechanical breakdown in the truck led to the accident.

Electronic Logging Devices

Many trucks are now also equipped with electronic logging devices. These have replaced the paper logbooks of the past. These digital logbooks automatically keep track of when a truck driver is on the road and when they are in a rest period. They do this by connecting with the vehicle engine and gathering other data from the vehicle, such as the miles traveled. As of December 2019, truck drivers must have an approved electronic logging device on their vehicle.

These logbooks can show if a driver violated hours-of-service regulations outlined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Because the driving data is documented automatically, there is little opportunity for a driver to tamper with entries. Digital logbooks can offer clues about when the truck driver stopped and whether they were fatigued at the time of a crash.

Dash Cameras

Dash cameras can offer vital evidence after a blind spot accident, helping to establish fault and facilitate insurance claims. These cameras might be mandatory due to regulations or insurance company guidelines.

Cameras enable the monitoring of driver conduct, supporting conscientious driving habits and decreasing dangerous behaviors, including speeding, severe braking, and distracted driving. These cameras help to enhance overall road safety and lower the chance of accidents.

Cameras positioned inside the truck’s cab can also offer insight into whether the truck driver was fatigued before a collision or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Any of these situations would make the truck driver accountable for the accident, in addition to their employer, through the legal principle of “respondeat superior.”

Fleet Vehicle Maintenance Logs

A fleet of commercial semi-trucks has to be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure they remain in safe working condition. If fleet operators do not regularly inspect and maintain their trucks, it significantly increases the odds of a mechanical breakdown on the road and a resulting accident.

A fleet vehicle maintenance log is used to track various inspection and maintenance activities. These logs are used to document what kinds of maintenance activities were performed, by whom, and when. Taking a look at fleet maintenance logs can establish whether a truck was serviced properly or whether the trucking business was negligent in its important duty of care.

Witness Statements

Often, witness statements are the most important evidence when it comes to proving a case. If at least two witnesses provide the same or similar statements about a trucker or the truck before the accident, it can help to prove that negligence caused an accident.

Effective blind spot truck accident lawyers will reach out to potential witnesses and get their statements before too much time has passed. Timeliness can be critical to establishing the truth about an accident.

Let Our Kansas Truck Accident Lawyers Handle Your Case

At Bretz Injury Law, our lawyers have extensive experience dealing with blind spot truck accidents. They are also quite familiar with many other types of truck accidents. Our team of skilled attorneys has developed in-depth knowledge of semi-trucks, best practices, and the trucking industry in general.

Rather than rush to a settlement, our lawyers are willing to use their knowledge to investigate truck companies and fight to hold the correct parties responsible. We aren’t intimidated by large insurance companies and corporate legal teams. If you are seeking compensation for your truck accident case, contact us online or call 620-RESULTS today.


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