Blind spots are areas of the road a driver cannot see from inside the vehicle, usually to the right and left of the car. The driver is effectively blind in these areas and will be unable to see an approaching vehicle. Blind spots cause many traffic accidents in Texas, including sideswipes and lane-change accidents. They are especially dangerous around commercial vehicles, which have large blind spots and the potential to cause catastrophic collisions. Using blind spot safety tips could save a life.
Angle Side Mirrors Correctly
Before you leave the driveway, take a moment to check your mirrors. Look in your rearview mirror and both side mirrors to make sure you can properly see out of them. Adjust them if another driver has moved them. For maximum visibility, adjust your rearview mirror so you can see your entire rear window while sitting in the driver’s seat. You should not have to move your head, only your eyes, to look in this mirror.
To adjust your driver’s side mirror, put your head up against the driver’s side window. Adjust the mirror until you can just see the side of your vehicle in the right side of the mirror. To adjust your passenger’s side mirror, put your head above your center console. Adjust the right mirror until you can just see the side of the vehicle in the left side of the mirror. You might need someone’s assistance if you do not have power-operated side mirrors. Then, sit back in your seat and make sure you can see properly out of all three mirrors.
Do Not Trust Mirrors Alone
Although your rear and sideview mirrors will show you most of the road surrounding your vehicle, they are not perfect. They may not completely eliminate blind spots even when properly adjusted. Pay attention to the road around you to maintain a mental picture of the positions of the surrounding vehicles. Do not text and drive or engage in other activities that will distract you. Put your blinker on at least 100 feet before you plan on merging or changing lanes to give other drivers adequate warning. Double-check all your mirrors before making the lane change. Invest in a vehicle with blind-spot detection for extra protection.
Do Not Hover in Someone Else’s Blind Spot
It is just as important to stay out of other drivers’ blind spots as it is to check yours. The drivers around you will have the same issues with blind spots. As much as possible, avoid hovering in another vehicle’s blind spots – usually to the right and left rear of the vehicle. If you have to pass through another car’s blind spots, do so swiftly. Hovering in someone’s blind spot can increase the risk of the driver colliding into you while trying to switch lanes or merge.
Respect a Large Truck’s Blind Spots
Be especially cautious of blind spots when maneuvering around large commercial trucks. Big rigs, or 18-wheelers, have large blind spots on both sides of the vehicle known as “No Zone”s. The No Zone extends one lane to the left and two lanes to the right of the commercial truck. You should also stay out of the zones 30 feet to the rear of the truck and 20 feet to the front. Large trucks require extra space.
If you have to drive in the lanes to a large truck’s right or left, do so carefully and quickly. Do not hover in a large truck’s No Zone. Do not try to pass on its right side. Stay predictable and follow traffic laws so a truck driver will know where you are and where you are going. Pass a large truck as fast as you can safely do so. Prepare to honk your horn and hit your brakes if a large truck begins to merge on top of you. Remember, if you cannot see the truck driver in the truck’s side mirrors, the driver likely cannot see you. If you do get into a crash with a big rig, a San Antonio truck accident lawyer can help you recover damages.