All moving vehicles have blind spots to the side and rear on both the left and right. When other vehicles of any kind enter these regions, they are not visible to the driver in the side or rear view mirrors. This problem is especially severe for semi-truck drivers, to the point that the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) has launched a public awareness campaign about the issue.
On semi-trucks, the blind spots extend a considerable distance backward and one lane over, with visibility still obstructed several car lengths in front of and behind the cab and trailer. US DOT advises drivers not to “hang out” in these “no zones,” but sometimes prevailing traffic conditions make driving in a semi’s blind spots unavoidable.
Drivers Are Solely Responsible for Blind Spot Monitoring
Regardless of vehicle type, however, drivers are responsible for monitoring their blind spots and are liable for damages or injuries caused by their failure to do so while changing lanes or executing a turn. This responsibility is imperative for semi-truck drivers, who must signal their intention to change lanes or turn well in advance of the maneuver. Sudden lane changes in these large vehicles can disrupt the flow of traffic with catastrophic results.
Motorcyclists are trained to move out of blind spots as quickly as possible and to make themselves visible in traffic with light colored and reflective clothing. These counter measures, however, do not work for the issue of blind spot inattention on the part of the driver, which is a major source of motorcycle-related accidents and injuries.
The Nagelberg Bernard Law Group will work to protect the rights of motorcyclists who are injured by driver negligence and inattention in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California.
Negligence is Still Negligence Regardless of Personal Interpretation
Drivers have a responsibility at all times to be aware of blind spots, checking these locations by rotating their heads while changing lanes rather than relying solely on the mirrors to assess surrounding traffic. Changing lanes without fully checking the blind spot is negligent driving, and the attorneys at the Nagelberg Bernard Law Group fight to hold the driver accountable for his or her actions when such an incident occurs.
A court may be tempted to assign some degree of negligence to the motorcyclist for being in the blind spot, and it takes an experienced and aggressive trial lawyer to justify the motorcyclist before a jury, which is likely to be made up of automobile drivers and not bikers.
If you or a loved one have suffered a personal injury or wrongful death at the hands of a negligent driver who failed to check his or her blind spots, contact the Nagelberg Bernard Law Group for immediate assistance and effective representation.
Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Articles and Resources