Blind Spot Accidents

Tulsa Blind Spot Accidents

Blind spot accidents are a risk anytime a driver gets behind the wheel. On busy roads, traffic congestion often forces other vehicles to travel in your blind spot. This area of visual impairment is dangerous to other passenger cars. It can also cause serious or fatal injuries to bicyclists, motorcyclists, or pedestrians. However, the process of recovering compensation can be a challenge when standing up to aggressive insurance carriers and trucking companies.

At the law offices of Graves McLain, we are ready to discuss your situation and guide you through the available paths for compensation.

When Do Blind Spot Accidents Typically Happen?

Newer model passenger cars often have many features to reduce the risk of someone driving in your blind spot. Experienced drivers have years of time spent in many different situations and have developed quick reflexes to avoid collisions. Despite these factors, there are numerous instances where the chance of a blind spot accident occurring is very high.

It is critical to constantly monitor your surroundings while driving and keep a close eye on areas where the view around your car might be blocked. Blind spots include many more places than just the sides of your vehicle. They include anyplace on a roadway where your vision is obstructed in any way.

Blind spot accidents are especially common in these driving situations:

  • Backing up: Even with built-in backup cameras, the chance of colliding with an object behind a vehicle is high. A quick walk around the car before driving can prevent this.
  • Oncoming traffic: Left-hand turns across multiple lanes of traffic often lead to t-bone crashes. Approaching vehicles can block the view of other cars entering an intersection or roadway
  • Intersections and driveways: Trees, bushes, road signs, bus shelters, trash bins, and other objects can obstruct the view of oncoming traffic or cars exiting hidden driveways.
  • Crosswalks: Pedestrians may enter a crosswalk against the light or while being hidden by a large vehicle. They may appear “out of nowhere” and suffer serious injuries if hit by a car.
  • Lane changes: These sideswipe accidents occur when a driver fails to properly check their blind spots carefully before changing lanes.
Blind Spot Accidents Involving Trucks

Sometimes, a blind spot accident occurs when you are the one in the blind spot. The sheer size of commercial trucks means they have large areas where visibility is limited or nonexistent on all sides of the vehicle. If you travel beside a truck or directly behind it, you are effectively invisible to the driver as they navigate through traffic.

The basic rule of thumb states that “if you cannot see a truck’s side-view mirrors, the driver cannot see you.” This can become catastrophic when a 90,000-pound tractor-trailer changes lanes and cuts off a passenger car that was following too closely.

The three major blind spots, or “no-zones”, on commercial trucks are:

  • Side no-zone: The entire right side of a truck and trailer is a blind spot. If possible, always pass trucks on the left.
  • Front no-zone: The large engine and front end of a truck create a blind spot that extends up to 20 feet forward. Changing lanes into this area is extremely dangerous.
  • Rear no-zone: Mirrors can only see so far behind a truck, and the rear blind spot can fall as far as 200 feet behind the trailer.
How to Avoid Blind Spot Accidents

Modern cars emphasize large windows and multiple safety features to ensure maximum visibility, but there are still many instances where objects and other vehicles are hidden from view. Good driving education emphasizes frequently checking mirrors and the road around your car to ensure the way is clear. However, a driver is only in control of their own vehicle, and the actions of other drivers and pedestrians can turn a simple trip to visit loved ones across town into a serious accident.

There are many steps you can take to decrease the chances of being involved in a blind spot accident. Some simple recommendations are:

  • Adjust your mirrors: Always check mirror positioning when you enter your car. Many new cars feature a memory setting that returns mirrors to the same positions when you start your vehicle if they have been moved.
  • Know your blind spots: When the car is parked, become familiar with any obstructions such as pillars, headrests, child seats, or cargo. Pay careful attention to the rear and sides of the vehicle.
  • Pause before changing lanes: Traffic pace may force a car to spend longer than a few seconds in your side blind spot. Pausing a moment after turning on your directional signal can allow time for the car to become visible.
  • Look over your shoulder: Although it’s advised to always keep your eyes on the road, sometimes that means looking over your shoulder to verify your blind spot is empty. A quick glance can avoid a sideswipe collision.
  • Be aware of other drivers’ blind spots: Take care to stay out of the blind spots of other vehicles, especially large trucks, RVs, vans, or service trucks. Drive defensively and avoid traveling continuously in these areas in case they do not check their blind spots.
  • Watch for motorcycles: Their small size and quick speed mean that motorcycles can seem to appear out of nowhere on the road beside you. In some states, they can ride between lanes of traffic and could be crushed between vehicles during a lane change.
  • Practice situational awareness: Listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks while driving can lull you into a less attentive state, making it easier to overlook your surroundings until it is too late. Stay focused on driving.

Many new cars have accident avoidance technology to aid you in preventing blind spot accidents. Flashing lights on side-view mirrors or sound warnings can alert you to when another vehicle is in your blind spot. Be sure to activate these features when driving.

What to Do After You Have Been In A Blind Spot Accident

Blind spot accidents in Tulsa happen frequently and may be as simple as a sideswipe collision with one other vehicle or as catastrophic as a multi-car pileup involving fatalities. No matter how serious your accident is, there are some recommended steps you should take:

  • Obtain medical treatment immediately at the scene
  • Provide any information you can to police
  • Notify your medical and automotive insurance companies
  • Contact individuals such as family or coworkers
  • Seek any continuing medical treatment you may need for injuries
  • Locate and hire a qualified Tulsa blind spot accident attorney

If you are injured or your car sustained damage, it can be very stressful in the time following an accident to schedule medical visits and car repairs. Additionally, if you decide to seek compensation, you may need guidance on how to proceed. The expertise of a competent legal team who is experienced with the ins-and-outs of blind spot accidents can make this easier for you.

Who Is To Blame In A Blind Spot Accident?

If another driver collides with you because they failed to check their blind spot, you must still work to prove their negligence. If they were swerving to avoid an object that had fallen off another vehicle, then there may be a third party at fault. Blind spot accidents can easily become more complicated than they first appear. Regardless of who is to blame for the crash, there are several pieces of key evidence that will strengthen your case for a settlement or claim.

Some examples of evidence that can prove fault include:

  • Statements from witnesses/passengers: Written or verbal statements from individuals about what they saw and heard can be powerful evidence of fault.
  • Videos and photographs: Dashboard or rearview cameras that record constantly can give an objective view of the collision. Especially valuable is footage from cars other than those involved in the crash. Accident scene photos can display the severity of damage and injuries.
  • Location of property damage: In many instances, it can be quite clear from the location of the damage on the vehicles how an accident occurred and who bears responsibility.
  • Cell phone records: Oklahoma Motor Vehicle Violation Code states that texting while driving constitutes negligence. Cell phone records can confirm a driver was using their phone at the time of the crash, establishing fault.
  • Police reports: Police officers responding to the crash will observe the scene, collect witness statements, and write a full accident report. This can be an important tool in the investigation you and your attorney make to build your case.
  • Black box data: Most newer model vehicles feature Event Data Recorders (EDRs), or “black boxes” (similar to those in airplanes). These devices record speed and braking information that can prove how a driver was behaving at the time of the accident.
Hiring an Experienced Tulsa Blind Spot Accident Attorney

You can rely on the expertise of the law offices of Graves McLain for the most dependable guidance to secure justice. Contact us for a free consultation today online or by phone at 918-359-6600.

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