What Can You Do to Avoid Blind Spot Accidents? – The Best Practices and Tips
According to the 2022 report by the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) on Traffic Safety Facts, at least 2.8% of the country's fatal accidents involve obscured vision.
Typically, blind spot accidents occur when drivers cannot see some areas outside of the car from their seats when looking in their mirrors.
However, knowing how to recognize a vehicle's blind spot can reduce the risk of accidents and keep drivers and operators of other cars safe on the road.
Understanding What Blind Spots Are
Almost all trucks and passenger vehicles are equipped with mirrors that allow drivers to see spaces on their vehicle's rear and sides. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also answer questions like, "What can you do to avoid underride accidents?"
However, these mirrors do not offer a full field of view and make many angles undetectable. Several areas are also obscured by parts of the car itself.
When looking directly or indirectly through the vehicle's mirrors, drivers cannot see these areas. As a result, they are unable to detect any pedestrian, car, or object that is approaching or moving alongside them.
These are the common blind spots of a passenger vehicle:
The vehicle's rear corners
Areas directly behind the car where the rear-view mirror doesn't reflect
Spots along the sides of the vehicle, near B-pillars or doors
Areas directly in front of large vehicles, including trucks and SUVs
Although blind spots exist on all cars, they are greater in terms of size and length for larger motor vehicles.
Semi-trucks and buses have more blind spots in the front and rear. Also, the obscured angles on the side are larger, covering one or multiple vehicle lengths.
Fortunately, there are several ways to reduce or eliminate blind spots to make the driving experience safer.
5 Proven Tips for Preventing Blind Spot Accidents
As mentioned, knowing how to recognize blind spots is crucial to avoiding accidents. Therefore, drivers should check these areas frequently, especially before passing another vehicle, changing lanes, or turning at an intersection.
Also, people should consider these tips to make sure they and other drivers are safe on the road:
Check Their Seating Position
Drivers should make sure they have the correct posture while driving and adjust the car's rear or side mirrors accordingly.
This step is essential because an incorrect posture can make it more challenging to check blind spots through the mirrors.
Contrastingly, a good posture improves drivers' sight lines and allows them to see comfortably from almost any angle.
Ideally, people should find an optimal position based on their seats, steering wheels, and pedal adjustment controls to identify and eliminate a driver's blind spot:
These are a few signs of optimal posture:
The driver's knees and arms are slightly bent
The driver's head and back are straight, with no slouching
The top of the steering wheel is just under shoulder height
Adjust Rear and Side Mirrors
After verifying their seating position, drivers should adjust their mirrors. If they are misaligned or improperly adjusted, the risks of a blind spot accident are higher.
Before getting on the road and starting to drive, drivers should identify their blind spots and check their mirrors, making sure they meet the following criteria:
The vehicle's rear-view mirror displays the entire rear window
The vehicle's side mirrors are facing outward, so drivers can see a great portion of adjacent lanes
Also, while driving, people should check their blind spots by looking over their shoulder. If there are still areas that they cannot see, drivers should adjust their mirrors until they are visible.
Check Over Their Shoulder
As mentioned, drivers should try to get as much visibility as possible. Besides using mirrors, they can look over their shoulders to check blind spots and identify any obstructions, especially at intersections or roundabouts.
Keeping the steering wheel straight while looking over the shoulder is essential to avoid veering out of the lane. Additionally, this action must be brief (around two seconds), as it involves taking their eyes off the road.
Give Warning to Other Drivers
When switching lanes, drivers should give plenty of warning to other motor vehicle operators to avoid causing a blind spot accident.
Ideally, a driver should signal their intention to change lanes in advance. Also, it's crucial to check blind spots before making sudden moves.
Before switching lanes, drivers should look over their shoulders to make sure the lane they are moving into is clear of any cars, pedestrians, or two-wheelers.
If they are merging or changing lanes on the highway, people should also be aware of other drivers.
Use Technological Devices
Luckily, technology has also brought many solutions that can reduce the risks of accidents on the road.
All vehicles manufactured in 2018 or before must have a rear-view blind-spot monitoring system or cameras that expand the driver's visibility to avoid crashes.
These systems have been designed to issue alerts when another car is approaching, so drivers don't have to take their eyes off the road.
If their vehicles are older and do not have this technology, people can buy an aftermarket blind spot monitor.
Blind spot accidents can be fatal and cause severe injuries to all parties involved. Fortunately, drivers can avoid them if they follow safety precautions and make sure their vehicles are equipped with the proper systems.
Whether they have a large commercial truck or a small car, all drivers must ensure their driving practices do not pose any risk to others. Therefore, identifying and reducing or eliminating vehicle blind spots is essential.
Is It Necessary to Call a Car Accident Attorney?
From traumatic brain injuries to disfigurement and disability, a blind spot accident can have life-long consequences on victims' lives.
Unfortunately, these accidents can cause more than just severe injuries. Victims usually have to pay huge bills for medications and treatments, suffer significant property losses, and even die.
However, drivers are legally required to comply with safety standards to avoid accidents that put other people at risk.
People who have been injured in a blind spot accident caused by a driver's negligence or failure to meet safety regulations can seek help from an experienced Toledo semi accident attorney and file a claim against at-fault parties.
Professional lawyers can help victims recover the compensation they deserve and fight for their rights. At Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, people who need legal counsel after blind spot accidents can find trusted experts willing to go the extra mile to get the best results for their clients. This law firm's team goes to war for them!