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Inside Look – Truck Blind Spots


Steve: Welcome to Wednesday’s Inside Look by Brooks! Steve Brooks here alongside my co-host Beach Brooks III. Today we are talking about truck blind spots. Trucks weigh, generally, about 80,000 pounds when they’re loaded. A car is about 7,000 pounds, so there’s 10 times the weight in a truck. So if you’re in a collision with a truck, the loser’s going to be the car. So car drivers need to be extremely careful when they’re around trucks.

The Danger of Truck Blind Spots

I know that most truck drivers I know are very professional and they do a great job. But they are also driving an 80,000 pound vehicle that cannot move as swiftly as a car. So if you cut off a truck or brake, that truck has a lot more momentum and a lot more weight to stop. I know that when I’m on the highway I am extra careful with trucks.

Now, trucks also have the uniqueness of having bigger blind spots than cars. I know in my car, when I look out my right mirror, there’s probably a 10 foot area that I can’t see. And I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve almost, you know, been in the left lane, and want to shift to the right lane, and at the last second see a car coming up to the right. So I always have to turn my head to make sure that there’s nobody in that lane. So trucks have a bigger blind spot.

Our Interactive Truck Blind Spot Page

We’ve actually, on our website—I don’t know, Beach, if you’ve seen that. We have an interactive truck blind spot page. If you go to the website, it’s really fun to kind of play around with and see how huge the truck blind spots are. Beach, I don’t know, have you had the chance to look at that?

Beach III: Yeah, it’s very informative. You can sort of hover your mouse over the semi-truck, and it will show you how wide the estimated blind spots are. And like you said, a lot of truck drivers are very professional, but there are some that will, every once in a while, and not see a vehicle. So as drivers, I tell everyone you’ve got to be careful and do some defensive driving to try and avoid those blind spots. Because a truck driver may think he’s doing the right thing, and he just can’t see you.

New Technology in Semi-Trucks

I think that’s one thing that’s very important. Like you stated, these trucks are very big, and they do have blind spots. And fortunately, just like many cars these days are getting sensors to alert you if there’s a vehicle in the lane to the right or left of you, a lot of semi-trucks are getting that technology as well. This should make the roads safer and create safer highways for all of us.

But a lot of times, what we see, is we can get that information through discovery where a truck driver says that our client cut them off, or something else. But through discovery we find that our client had been in that blind spot for a long time, and the driver just failed to realize that or failed to check their safety measures, and the accident could have been avoided. So it goes back to our clients did nothing wrong, and we were able to overcome the truck’s defenses because we were able to get that information through discovery.

Contacting an Attorney after a Truck Accident

So I tell all my clients, if you are in one of these unfortunate accidents, make sure you contact us right away, because we can get that information through discovery. I think last week I discussed a little bit about our prior trial, and that involved a dump truck. But one of the key facts in that case was whether the dump truck should have seen our clients. And through the photos and discovery, there clearly was a backup camera, and there clearly was a backup sensor. Unfortunately, we weren’t the initial attorneys on the case, so a lot of the evidence wasn’t preserved correctly.

But that was an accident where it should have been avoided. The truck had the proper technology, and it was either broken at the time of the crash, or the truck driver failed to utilize that. So I just tell all my clients, you’ve got to be careful. A lot of the times, these truck drivers can’t see you. And even if they have the proper equipment in the truck, the truck driver is just so busy and has so many other things going on that they fail to use that technology. And unfortunately, car crashes are the result of that.

How a Truck Accident Attorney Can Help

Steve: That’s a great point. And was it you that told me they had a case recently where the truck driver had cameras with a 360 degree view? Was that you?

Beach III: Yep!

Steve: Was that the dump truck or was that a different case?

Beach III: No that was different, that was a semi-truck. A lot of the new semi-trucks are doing that because they’re trying to promote safety. Which is a good thing! But once again, the truck driver has to use that technology correctly.

And that’s why it’s imperative that you get an attorney involved if you’re involved in a semi-truck crash. Because, like I said, a lot of the time the truck driver fails to use that equipment, or the safety equipment’s not working properly, which means that truck should not be on the roads to begin with. So we can get all that information through discovery, we just have to send out what we call preservation letters, which means the defense can’t get rid of this evidence. Because a lot of times, if we delay or if an attorney doesn’t get that letter out right away, that evidence is destroyed, and we’ll never get to see that video, or get the black box data from the truck that shows that our client had been in that blind spot for a while.

Front Truck Blind Spots

Steve: Yeah, that’s a great point. You know, when I think of blind spots, I usually think of the sides, and maybe the rear. But I never think of the front of the truck because there’s no blind spot in front of my car. But trucks actually—I was surprised—have a 20 foot blind spot in front of their cab. I guess it’s because they’re so high in relation to some cars that sit really, really low. So a really low-sitting car, there could be a huge blind spot.

Beach III: And the thing about those car crashes is those tend to be the most fatal, too. 64% of fatal accidents that involve semi-trucks are rear-end collisions. And that’s either the truck could not stop in time, or the truck was in the blind spot. So that’s important to go back to. Like you stated earlier, make sure we’re not cutting off semi-trucks, as well as making sure that there’s plenty of distance behind us so that the semi-truck can see us, because there is that blind spot that we talked about. But also give them an opportunity to brake if need be, because those semis can’t brake as quickly as a car or SUV can.

Contact Brooks Law Group’s Truck Accident Attorneys

Steve: Absolutely, absolutely. Ok, anything else you want to add, Beach?

Beach III: No, I would just recommend, like you said earlier, everyone check out our website! We do have that cool interactive semi page now that shows you all the blind spots and shows you a lot of facts. Like I know a big blind spot to the right of the semi-truck can extend over 3 lanes. I didn’t realize that until I went to our website! So once again, I recommend everyone go to LookToBrooks.com and check that out.

Steve: Thank you, and thanks for joining me again today. If anybody has any questions, feel free to shoot Beach and I an email. My email address is steve@brookslawgroup.com. Beach’s is beachiii@brookslawgroup.com. And we’ll be glad to talk to you about if you’re in a truck accident or any kind of accident, or you just want to chat or have a question. We will see you next Wednesday for Wednesday’s Inside Look by Brooks. Thanks for joining me, and we’ll see you then!

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