It is common to hear about large trucks having visibility issues, but cars can have blind spots too, and they can cause serious or even deadly accidents. Car blind spots endanger drivers and passengers, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. They are a top cause of motorcyclist and pedestrian accidents.
What is a Blind Spot?
A blind spot or “no-zone” refers to an area around a vehicle that the driver cannot directly see. They are dangerous because even if the driver checks his mirrors or looks out the window, he might not see another vehicle or motorcyclist alongside or behind him.
Motorcyclists are most vulnerable to blind spot collisions with cars. Their smaller size makes it more difficult to be seen. The number of motorcyclist deaths has increased to 5,286 in 2016, which is its highest since 2008.
Common Blind Spot Dangers
Blind spot accidents are often caused by a combination of factors inside and outside of vehicles. Damages caused often require the intervention of an accident lawyer. Some common driving situations where not paying attention to known blind zones can be hazardous include:
- Changing lanes, which accounts for 18 percent of all automobile collisions on the road.
- Making a left-hand turn across two lanes of oncoming traffic and a car suddenly appears in the outer approaching lane.
- Driving through intersections or crosswalks surrounded with large objects that could obscure the ability to see pedestrians or other traffic.
- Backing up and not seeing other vehicles or pedestrians because of a rear blind spot, which accounts for 300 fatalities and 18,000 injuries each year in the United States.
How to Avoid Blind Spot Accidents
Drivers should always check all mirrors and look over their shoulder when merging into traffic or changing lanes. When in doubt, wait to change lanes. Always use a blinker signal to give other motorists or motorcyclists advance warning that a lane change is coming. Driving with minimal distractions and while sober will also decrease the risk of a blind spot accident. But most importantly, car drivers need to share the road responsibly with others.
Motorcyclists need to take extra care on the road to stay safe. They should avoid riding in a driver’s blind spot, which is the left and right rear of the car. Wearing bright colored clothing and always riding with headlights on can help motorcyclists be seen.