According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are over 800,000 blind spot accidents in the country each year, causing more than 300 fatalities. Because they are one of the leading types of car accidents, many car manufacturers implemented blind spot monitoring (BSM) systems in their vehicles. This feature detects any traveling objects in the vehicle’s blind spot and warns the driver of the object’s presence.
Also known as blind spot detection or blind spot warning, these systems use cameras and sensors to track objects in areas where the driver cannot see, mostly each corner and side of the vehicle. Without it, a driver would have to use their rear-view and side-view mirrors, or turn their head, to check their blind spots before turning or changing lanes. BSM systems are meant to be used along with checking mirrors, adding an extra layer of safety for driving. It is dangerous to rely solely on this system.
Unfortunately, many drivers rely on BSM, leading to a false sense of security. These driver-assist systems are designed to increase safety when combined with a driver’s judgment.
Why Are Blind Spots So Dangerous?
A driver’s ability to view their surroundings is vital to their safety. When drivers cannot see their surroundings, they severely limit their ability to make the correct judgment. Actions such as changing lanes, turning, or leaving an intersection suddenly become very dangerous.
Larger commercial vehicles have much larger blind spots. Always remember that driving near or around them should always be done cautiously and avoid them as best as possible. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), almost 100,000 significant truck accidents yearly involve changing lanes. An accident with a commercial truck often leads to catastrophic damages, severe injuries, or death.
Here are a few tips to avoid a blind spot accident:
- Observe the vehicle: Always be aware and keep track of the cars around you while driving. Practice caution when you see a driver put their turn signal on, and be prepared when they change lanes. Remember that they may not see you, so if possible, get out of their blind spot quickly and safely.
- Safety around trucks: Commercial trucks have substantial blind spots on all four sides of their vehicle. Depending on the type of vehicle, a truck driver’s blind spot can reach up to 20 feet in front of them and 30 feet behind them. If you find yourself in a truck’s blind spot, get out immediately. A good rule of thumb is that if you cannot see a truck’s mirrors, then the driver cannot see you. However, if you are in the truck’s front, rear, or directly left or right of them, they still may not be able to see you. Finally, never tailgate a truck, and if they have their turn signal on, be prepared for changing lanes or turning.
- Pedestrians and bicyclists: Pedestrians and those on bicycles or scooters are harder to see than a car. A driver must always be aware of what is around them, especially at an intersection where pedestrians or bicyclists may be trying to cross. If you are a pedestrian or bicyclist near an approaching car, try to make eye contact with the driver so they know your presence.
- Avoid aggressive driving: Every driver owes a duty of care to each other. Driving recklessly or performing aggressive maneuvers puts you and the other drivers around you in danger. Other drivers may not have the time to react if you are zipping in and out of traffic and may be in one of your blind spots, causing an accident.
Edwardsville Car Accident Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm Help Accident Survivors Injured by Negligence
If drivers do not thoroughly check their blind spots, they could cause a once-preventable accident. If you have been injured in a blind spot accident, contact our Edwardsville car accident lawyers at The Cates Law Firm. Call us at 618-277-3644 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we proudly serve clients in St. Louis, Belleville, East St. Louis, Edwardsville, Granite City, Waterloo, Chester, Carbondale, St. Clair County, Madison County, Monroe County, Randolph County, and other regions throughout Southern Illinois.