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5 Ways to Avoid 18-Wheeler Blind Spot Accidents

Blind spots are areas around a vehicle that a driver is unable to see by looking at the rear view or side mirrors. Because of the massive size of 18-wheelers and other big commercial trucks, they have many blind spots. For instance, 18-wheelers have a blind spot at the front-end of the truck, on both sides; just below and behind the driver-side window; and directly behind the truck. Additionally, most motorist are unaware that 18-wheelers have blind spots throughout the entire right side of the truck, from the cab to the end of the trailer. That is why it is critically important to avoid passing an 18-wheeler on the right side, even during slow traffic.

When changing lanes in either direction, truck drivers are required to “head check.” That involves taking their eyes off of the road for a second or two, to check if another vehicle is obstructing his or her turn.  As our country’s highway systems expand, more lanes are added, making them more and more dangerous to motorists while changing lanes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 840,000 blind spot accidents occur each year. It is important to know how to reduce the chances of being involved in a blind spot accident.

Here are 5 Ways to Avoid Blind Spots of 18-Wheelers:

  1. Stay Away from Blind Spots: Beginning with the most obvious, stay away from the truck’s blind spots: front-end of the truck on either side; just below or behind the driver-side window; and its entire right side.
  2. Do NOT Tailgate: 18-wheelers have blind spots directly behind them and tend to have bumpers that ride high off the ground, which could collide with your windshield if you rear end them. Generally speaking, you should allow a 4-second following distance while traveling behind an 8-wheeler (approx. 20 car lengths).
  3. Drive Slow: Large semi-trucks can not respond very quickly when it drives upon an obstacle, so the more time that you give them to react by not speeding, the safer it is for you.
  4. Mirror Image: Always look for the driver’s face in the mirror before attempting to pass; and
  5. Stay Alert to the Truck’s Signals: Trucks make wide turns at intersections (especially right turns) and require additional lanes to maneuver, so you need to be alert of its turn signals so that you don’t get trapped in its path.

Truck Accident Attorneys On Your Side

At the Russell Law Firm, our legal team works relentlessly to obtain justice for victims of vehicle wrecks caused by negligent tractor-trailer drivers. Our talented Baton Rouge, Louisiana truck accident attorneys serve clients throughout Louisiana.

Explore your options for legal recourse by contacting the Russell Law Firm for a complimentary, no-obligation, private consultation. After discussing the circumstances of your blind spot truck accident, Russell Law Firm attorneys can determine if you have a viable claim and pursue damages for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, property repairs, and other losses. We work on a contingency fee basis, so we will not charge any legal fees unless a settlement or positive verdict is procured on your behalf. Make the RIGHT CALL, RIGHT NOW! Call the Russell Law Firm at (225) 307-0088.

By: Danny Russell, Baton Rouge area personal injury attorney, licensed in Louisiana and admitted in the following courts:

– All Louisiana District Courts
– All Louisiana Appellate Courts
– Louisiana Supreme Court
– U.S. Middle District Court of Louisiana
– U.S. Western District Court of Louisiana
– U.S. Eastern District Court of Louisiana
– U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

**Information furnished herein is only general and not a substitute for personalized legal advice. The photographs are not depictions of any actual even or scenes, but merely dramatizations. 

5 Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents

Commercial trucking accidents are responsible for thousands of injuries and deaths every year in the United States. With so much commercial trucking traffic moving through Louisiana on a daily basis, the potential for 18-wheeler accidents is high. Some of the 5 common causes of 18-wheeler accidents include:

1) Driver Fatigue – Unrealistic schedules and expectations of trucking companies encourage drivers to speed to their destinations without breaking or resting, causing physical or mental exhaustion and stress on the driver. Fatigue combined with speeding, poor weather conditions, and other factors, can increase the risk of a crash.

2) Overweight or Unbalanced Truck Loads – “Overweight” truck loads can cause a tire blowout, rollovers from an increase center of gravity, and an increase in speed, making it difficult to slow down and/or stop the truck. That often occurs when the truck is traveling downhill. “Unbalanced” truck loads cause the weight of the truck to shift to the rear, making it difficult for the truck driver to control the vehicle’s movement and speed.

3) Cellphones & Text Messaging – Talking or texting on cellphones can cause the truck driver to take his/her eyes off the road and become distracted from the road conditions.

4) Inadequate Training – In most situations, driver trainees have approximately 5 days in the classroom to soak-in information for the first time, about safety, mechanical procedures, and logging requirements. Thereafter, the truck driver spends just a few hours learning about inspections and test driving, before taking the truck weighing nearly 80,000 pounds, through highly trafficked areas, moving at high rates of speed. Lack of adequate training on how to handle such a vehicle and how to react to the various roadway conditions often presented, are ingredients for destruction and devastation.

5) Truck Driver Drug & Alcohol Use – Recent data collected by the Federal Motor Safety Administration of crashes between passenger vehicles and large trucks within 17 states, revealed that 3,757 deaths occurred, and 88,000 injuries were sustained by individuals involved. The data also revealed that alcohol and illegal drug use by truck drivers while behind the wheel was prevalent and a significant cause of many of those accidents.

Regardless of why trucking accidents occur, they can cause horrible injuries and even death. Because truck accident injuries are so often catastrophic and disabling, the cost of medical treatment, rehabilitation, equipment and possibly lifetime care can be extremely high. If poor maintenance or defective equipment played a role in causing an accident that results in serious injury or the wrongful death of your loved one, you may have more options and sources for financial recovery. Compensation from the trucking company and its insurer, or other responsible parties, can go a long way toward making life easier for your family and your injured family member after a serious truck crash.

The Russell Law Firm represents injured victims of 18-wheeler, trucking, and car wrecks throughout the State of Louisiana. Our firm is experienced and highly skilled in handling injury and wrongful death claims arising from 18-wheeler, trucking, and car wrecks. If you or someone you know has suffered injuries from an 18-wheeler, trucking, or car wreck, make the Right Call, Right Now and contact the Russell Law Firm, at 225-307-0088. We’ll take a fierce but personal approach towards getting you the compensation you deserve.

**Information furnished herein is only general and not a substitute for personalized legal advice.

By: Danny Russell, Baton Rouge area personal injury attorney, licensed in Louisiana and admitted in the following courts:

– All Louisiana District Courts
– All Louisiana Appellate Courts
– Louisiana Supreme Court
– U.S. Middle District Court of Louisiana
– U.S. Western District Court of Louisiana
– U.S. Eastern District Court of Louisiana
– U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

****THE PHOTOGRAPH ABOVE IS NOT A DEPICTION OF ANY ACTUAL EVENT OR SCENE, BUT MERELY A DRAMATIZATION.

18-Wheeler Accident: Lawsuit Deadline

Someone who sustains bodily injuries and/or property damages (“damages”) resulting from an 18-wheeler accident in Louisiana, has one (1) year from the date the “injury or damage was sustained,” to file a lawsuit against the the driver of the 18-wheeler, the owner of the 18-wheeler, the insurance company insuring the 18-wheeler, and any other parties responsible for compensating you for the damages you’ve sustained. The date the “injuries or damages were sustained,” is usually the date that the accident occurred.

Given that you have only one (1) year, it is important to make early contact with a personal injury law firm experienced in handling 18-wheeler accidents in Louisiana if you’ve suffered damages from an 18-wheeler accident. Before filing a lawsuit, it is crucial to collect all necessary evidence from the scene of the accident, the 18-wheeler, and others, which can take months. If some of that evidence is lost or destroyed, it could severely impact the outcome of your case.

The Russell Law Firm represents clients injured in 18-wheeler accidents throughout the State of Louisiana, including the parishes of East Baton Rouge Parish, West Baton Rouge Parish, Plaquemines Parish, Livingston Parish, Ascension Parish, Jefferson Parish, Orleans Parish, St. Charles Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Assumption Parish, Lafayette Parish, Lafourche Parish, Lafayette Parish, St. Landry Parish, Evangeline Parish; and the cities of Baton Rouge, Livingston, Denham Springs, Walker, Gonzales, Donaldsonville, Port Allen, Brusly, Addis, Lafayette, Napoleonville, Kenner, Harvey, Marrero, Estelle, Gretna, Metairie, New Orleans, Terrytown, Westwego, Ville Platte, Eunice, Opelousas, Thibodaux, Houma, Belle Chasse, and Hahnville.

Our firm is experienced and highly skilled in 18-wheeler accident cases. If you have sustained damages from an 18-wheeler accident, contact the Russell Law Firm  today at 225-307-0088. We will take a hands on and aggressive approach towards getting you compensated for your losses.

Information furnished herein is only general and not a substitute for personalized legal advice
****The photograph above is not a depiction of any actual event or scene, but merely a dramatization.
By:       Danny Russell, Baton Rouge area personal injury attorney, licensed in Louisiana.