Even if you think you can easily change lanes while driving, auto accidents often occur when another vehicle is in a driver’s “blind spot.” For instance, a driver may signal and begin changing lanes — without realizing another driver is already in the lane. That second driver may panic, swerve off the road, and be seriously injured.
What is a Blind Spot
The blind spot is any area around the car that cannot be observed in rearview mirrors or side mirrors. Blind spots can easily hide a cyclist or another vehicle; indeed, by the time a driver realizes he or she cannot safely change lanes, it may be too late. Understanding a car’s blind spots can help a driver avoid serious auto and truck accidents, and at the same time, prepare the driver to avoid being in someone else’s blind spot.
Blind spots generally extend out and backward from the front car windows, into the lanes on either side of the driver. Some drivers choose to attach to their vehicles wide-angle mirrors that offer the driver a wider angle for side and rear observation. Drivers of certain vehicles, such as motorcycles, have modified visibility due to their own physical limitations of how much they can turn their heads.
Tips for Checking Blind Spots
At a minimum, a blind spot must be checked manually in a variety of situations. For instance, before moving the car from a stationary position, the driver needs to look over his or her shoulder to check that no cars or cyclists are in the way. This is especially important if someone is parallel parked and is pulling out into traffic. Another time the blind spot must be checked is when a driver is changing lanes. Finally, if a driver lives in a location with a lot of cyclists, like the San Fernando Valley, where bicycle accidents occur with regularity, the blind spot will need to be checked more often.
A driver may also wish to identify when other drivers have trouble with their blind spots. This occurs when one driver is simply driving along at a constant speed just behind and to the left or right of another driver. This first driver would be wise to consider accelerating out of the blind spot in a safe and efficient manner. In another example, when driving next to a truck, a good rule of thumb is to keep an eye out for the truck’s mirrors. If you cannot see the mirrors, it is likely the driver cannot see you. Even if you can see the mirrors, it would be prudent to accelerate past the truck.
If you have been injured in a car accident and you believe a driver failed to check his or her blind spot, consult a personal injury attorney. You may be able to recover compensation that could cover injuries resulting from the accident and medical bills, lost wages, and more. Discuss your legal options and potential for financial recovery with Woodland Hills auto accident lawyer Barry P. Goldberg today.