Even the most prudent driver cannot prevent blind spots. Blind spots are areas of the road that are impossible to see in one’s mirrors due to the design of the vehicle. It is possible, however, for a driver to mitigate the risks of blind spots and avoid accidents through maneuvers such as glancing over his or her shoulder before merging or changing lanes. When a blind spot does cause a car accident, it can be difficult to determine fault. The car accident may require an investigation of fault before victims can file personal injury lawsuits.
How Can Blind Spots Cause Accidents?
A blind spot can be deadly at the wrong time and place. The inability to see surrounding vehicles when making a turn, backing up or changing lanes, for example, could lead to a collision between a vehicle and another driver, bicyclist, or pedestrian. All vehicles have blind spots. Longer vehicles, such as pickup trucks and semis, have larger blind spots than compact cars. Blind spots can lead to car accidents in many ways in Dallas.
- Accidents while reversing. Safely reversing a vehicle requires being able to look in a driver’s mirrors and see obstacles, pedestrians or children. Unfortunately, blind spots can prevent a driver from noticing objects directly behind the vehicle. This can lead to devastating collisions while reversing.
- Merge accidents. Merging onto a highway or road takes checking to make sure the way is clear before completing the maneuver. Although surrounding drivers should be courteous and allow the driver to merge, the merging driver has the responsibility of yielding the right-of-way and only merging when it is safe to do so. A blind spot could interfere with this ability.
- Unsafe lane changes. Lane-change accidents are some of the most common car accidents in Texas. Many of these collisions occur due to blind spots impeding the driver’s view of the destination lane. A blind spot could hide a vehicle hovering next to the driver, for example, resulting in a serious lane-change collision.
A driver often has the power to prevent blind spot accidents. First, the driver should do everything he or she can to prevent blind spots. This includes adjusting side and rearview mirrors correctly to see more of the road. A driver should be able to see both sides of the road and the rear fully in the mirrors. Then, the driver should be aware of potential blind spots when making turns or merging. A driver should look over his or her shoulder rather than relying on mirrors alone to see obstacles a blind spot may hide.
Why Is Your Blind Spot Especially Dangerous?
Most drivers have blind spots. As a driver in Dallas, it is your legal responsibility to drive safely despite these blind spots. You must take measures to minimize your blind spots and ensure the safety of a maneuver before its execution. Your blind spot is especially dangerous due to the risk of striking a bicyclist or pedestrian. When driving around downtown Dallas, a blind spot could lead you to merge, collide, or turn on top of an oncoming bicyclist or pedestrian. Pay special attention to turn signal lights, bicycle lanes, and your blind spots in areas with vulnerable road users.
Liability for a Blind Spot Accident
In most cases, liability for a blind spot accident will go to the driver that had the blind spot. A blind spot is typically not a suitable defense for crash liability since the victim could argue that another reasonable and prudent driver would have been able to work around the blind spot and prevented the accident. If two vehicles merge at the same time and collide, however, liability can be more difficult to determine. In this situation, an investigation may be necessary to determine which driver was in the wrong. The at-fault driver will be the one who did not have the right-of-way, in most cases. A portion of liability for a blind spot accident may go to both drivers depending on the situation.