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Tractor-Trailer Accidents In Blind Spots


Drivers of tractor-trailers have a difficult job, particularly given the large size and sluggish handling of many semi-trucks. There are many different types of accidents that can occur on Florida roads, with one of the most unpredictable being the crashes that occur while a road user is in the truck’s blind spots. While it is part of the driver’s job to be aware of their surroundings, sometimes a person will be in their blind spot and not know how to conduct themselves. Determining liability is not easy in these cases, but it is far from impossible.

Invisible In Blind Spots

According to the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), large tractor-trailers have four different blind spots: one each at the front and back, and one in each space where the rearview mirrors do not cover. If a vehicle is in any of these spots, they cannot be seen by the tractor-trailer’s driver, by the sheer laws of geometry – the mirror’s reflection will only be angled so far. In turn, if you cannot see the tractor-trailer’s side mirrors from your vehicle, the driver cannot see you.

However, depending on what the vehicle in the blind spot is doing, the chance of an accident will be higher or lower – for example, a person driving in a tractor-trailer’s right-hand blind spot will be more likely to get into a crash when the tractor-trailer attempts to merge or turn right. Driving directly behind a tractor-trailer will render you effectively invisible to the driver, as the mirrors on the vehicle will be impossible to see.

Determining Liability

In accidents involving tractor-trailers, it can be difficult to effectively establish liability simply because events happen so quickly. For example, the FMCSA reports that approximately one-third of all tractor-trailer crashes involve a vehicle in one of their blindspots. This can mean that sometimes, the smaller vehicle’s driver should be held liable for an accident because they were in the blind spot to begin with, but sometimes liability should be laid at the tractor-trailer’s door because the driver failed to clear their blind spots before making a maneuver like turning or changing lanes.

If you have been involved in this type of crash, it is crucial that you enlist the right legal help to ensure you are able to gather as much evidence as possible. Because events happen so quickly, a witness statement or accident reconstruction can make all the difference between recovering damages and having to struggle alone. If you can establish that you were not driving your vehicle negligently – for example, passing on the right or cutting the tractor-trailer off – you have a better chance to recover compensation for the harm you have suffered.

Contact A Tampa Tractor-Trailer Accident Attorney

Tractor-trailer accidents can be deadly, given the speed and size involved. If you have been injured in this type of crash, you need a knowledgeable attorney who can guide you through the legal process during what can be a truly difficult time in your life. A Tampa tractor-trailer accident attorney from the Rinaldo Law Group can help. Call our office today to speak to an attorney.


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