Driver Blind Spots Cause Accidents | KNR
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No matter how careful you are, you could be the victim of a crash if another vehicle does not see you.
Written by
KNR Legal
Date posted
January 16, 2024

You can certainly take in the view while driving, yet a vehicle’s design limits a full panoramic view. Mirrors reveal a lot, but they leave significant areas unseen. These vehicle blind spots are large enough to conceal pedestrians or other cars and are a big factor in many road mishaps. Also, if you don’t notice a blind spot, your car can just as easily lurk in another driver’s, heightening the risk of a collision.

Driver Blind Spots Cause Accidents

Drivers need to be vigilant – not just for their own vehicle’s blind spots but for others as well. Awareness is your best defense against hidden hazards. But despite all precautions, accidents still happen. If you or a loved one are in a collision due to a neglected blind spot, you must understand who is at fault and how to protect your rights.

The Ohio car accident lawyers with Kisling, Nestico & Redick can clarify the law and your options, which may include recovering compensation. KNR offers 100% free initial consultations and no upfront costs. Call 1-800-HURT-NOW to discuss your blind spot-related car accident.

What is a Vehicle Blind Spot?

A vehicle blind spot is any area around a car or any vehicle that the driver cannot see directly from the driver’s seat, even with the help of the mirrors. These areas are caused by the car’s design, such as the pillars around the windshield and the door frames.

Why are Blind Spots Hazardous?

Blind spots are dangerous because they can hide other vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, or pedestrians from the driver’s view. This can lead to accidents, particularly in cases where the driver changes lanes or merges into traffic without checking their blind spots first.

Where Are a Vehicle’s Blind Spots?

Vehicles can have several blind spots, depending on the specific model of the car, truck, SUV, or van and the driver’s height.

The most common blind spots are at the back corners of a vehicle. These triangle-shaped blackout zones extend several feet behind the rear corners of the vehicle. Other blind spots are directly behind the car, and for some vehicles and drivers, small sections of the road are blocked by the support pillar between the windshield and driver or passenger door windows.

Vehicle Blind Spots are Bigger Than You Think

When looking for vehicle blind spots, most envision the rear corners, especially during lane changes. Yet, the often-overlooked area directly behind the vehicle can be surprisingly vast, leading to numerous backup collisions and related injuries.

A Consumer Reports study highlighted the startling blind zone sizes:

  • For an average-height driver in a small sedan, 12 feet directly behind goes unseen; this doubles for shorter drivers.
  • Hatchbacks hide up to 9 feet for taller drivers and 15 feet for shorter ones.
  • Larger vehicles like SUVs and trucks, where blind spots stretch from 18 to a hazardous 35 feet depending on the vehicle size and driver’s height.

Don’t Modern Cars Have Blind Spot Sensors?

Many newer models of cars indeed feature blind spot sensors and backup cameras to alert drivers to unseen hazards. Despite this technology, drivers must actively check their surroundings since these aids aren’t foolproof and can miss obstacles.

The responsibility to ensure safety remains with the driver; technology enhances but doesn’t replace the need for vigilance on the road.

What Cars Have the Best & Worst Blind Spots?

A vehicle’s shape can significantly reduce or increase blind spots. According to Consumer Reports, sedans generally offer better visibility than SUVs, but notable exceptions exist. For example, the Subaru Forester outshines its competitors in the small SUV category, offering superior visibility that benefits drivers of all ages. In contrast, the Chevrolet Camaro has been called out for its compromised visibility.

When test-driving, one should prioritize ease of viewing over features, ensuring that shoulder checks and parking maneuvers can be performed confidently.

Who is At Fault for a Blind Spot Accident?

Determining responsibility in a blind spot accident can be complicated. In many situations, assigning fault involves establishing who had the right of way and whether any drivers were negligent.

  • Blind Spots While Changing Lanes: If a driver changes lanes and hits another vehicle in their blind spot, the driver changing lanes is usually found at fault for not ensuring the lane was clear before moving into it.
  • Blind Spots While Merging: Like lane changing, if a driver merges onto a highway and collides with a vehicle in their blind spot, they may be held responsible for the accident.
  • Blind Spots While Backing Up: When a driver is reversing out of a driveway or parking space and hits another vehicle or pedestrian, they are often liable because they must yield to oncoming traffic.
  • Large Vehicle Blind Spots: Operators of larger vehicles, like trucks and buses, have more prominent blind spots and a higher duty of care to ensure they check these areas before maneuvering.

Can Vehicles in a Blind Spot Be Negligent?

Yes, vehicles in a blind spot can also be negligent. While the driver who is maneuvering is typically responsible for ensuring it is safe to do so, the driver in the potential blind spot can contribute to the fault under certain circumstances:

  • Lingering in the Blind Spot: If a driver positions their vehicle in the blind spot of another car for an extended period, especially in heavy traffic or at high speeds, they may be considered partially negligent for not safely navigating out of the area.
  • Following Too Closely: Tailgating or following another vehicle too closely limits the tailgating driver’s reaction time. An accident could result in shared fault since the tailgater has contributed to the potential for a collision.
  • Sudden Lane Changes: If a driver makes abrupt lane changes and moves into the blind spot of another vehicle without giving the other driver enough time to react, this could be seen as negligent behavior.

In shared fault scenarios, both drivers’ actions are assessed to determine how much each contributed to the accident. This concept, known as comparative negligence, recognizes that multiple parties can be at fault to varying degrees.

How To Avoid Blind Spot Collisions

Some blind spots can never be diminished entirely due to the make of the vehicle and your height. However, you can significantly reduce the size of blind spots by following a few basic safe driver practices:

  • Adjust your mirrors. Your side mirrors should let you see the side of your car when you glance at them. This will give you the widest possible view of the lanes next to you.
  • Do a shoulder check. Turn your head and look over your shoulder in the direction you want to go. Don’t rely on your mirrors alone.
  • Be aware of your vehicle’s size. Larger vehicles have bigger blind spots.
  • Consider blind spot mirrors. These are small, convex mirrors that can be attached to your side mirrors. They give you a wider view of the lanes next to you.

Should You Talk to a Lawyer After a Blind Spot Accident?

After an accident caused by no fault of your own, it’s advisable to consult with a lawyer, especially if you’ve sustained injuries.

Experienced attorneys, like those at Kisling, Nestico & Redick in Ohio, can conduct a thorough investigation to determine fault for your blind spot collision, guide you through the complexities of insurance claims, and pursue a personal injury lawsuit if needed. This could result in securing much-needed compensation for the losses related to the crash, such as medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

Contact KNR for Help after a Blind Spot Accident

If you were hurt in a blind spot accident, call the experienced Ohio personal injury lawyers of Kisling, Nestico & Redick as soon as possible. With a strong track record in auto accident cases, KNR focuses on you and your needs while doing everything possible to bolster your chances of a favorable outcome.

Call 1-800-HURT-NOW or contact KNR online for a free, no-risk consultation. We’ll explain your options and edibility for compensation after a blind spot accident.