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There are certain areas on all vehicles where drivers cannot see the cars that surround them. These areas are called blind spots. While automakers are developing warning systems to alert drivers of the presence of objects in blind spots, the technology has not yet been perfected. Each year, nearly 840,000 accidents in the United States are caused by blind spots, causing about 300 deaths per year.
Truck drivers primarily rely on their oversized rearview mirrors to see as much traffic around them as possible. They carefully monitor the presence of vehicles in their vicinity, especially when they are maneuvering lane changes, accelerating, or decelerating.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration established a code setting minimum requirements for vehicle rear view mirrors. It requires two mirrors, one on each side of the vehicle located on the outside to reflect traffic around the truck. The code was recently revised to require video monitoring technology that displays the back of the vehicle. The mandated technology was introduced over time and must now be installed in new vehicles. The change is expected to minimize the risk of death and injury from backing accidents.
Blind spots on the sides of a truck are more problematic when driving. Also referred to as no zones, there are significant areas located along both sides of the truck where mirrors cannot detect vehicles. Drivers should be mindful of the truck’s blind spots and avoid them when possible. If a driver chooses to remain in a truck’s blind spot for an extended period and ends up colliding with the truck, they could be found partially responsible for the accident.
Due to the high risk of death or serious injury from truck accidents, truck drivers are held to a high standard of care. Failure to exercise reasonable care to avoid harm to others is illegal. The standard for establishing negligence involves proving that the driver had a duty, breached that duty, caused an injury, and resulted in damages. Often when a truck driver causes an accident, their employer can be held liable under a theory of vicarious liability. In this case, the accident must have been caused by a negligent act by the driver while driving for the employer’s interests.
Employers can also be held directly liable if they know or should have known that their employee should not have been driving. Certain examples include a driver having poor vision or a drinking problem.
If you or someone you know was involved in a truck accident, the Delaware truck accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can analyze your case and gather important details and evidence surrounding the accident. Call us today at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including Elsmere and Seaford.