What Are “No Zone” Truck Accidents & Who’s Liable?
“No Zone” truck accidents refer to collisions that occur in areas around commercial trucks where the truck driver’s visibility is limited or obstructed. When other vehicles or pedestrians enter these areas, the truck driver may not be able to see them, leading to accidents.
The Four Major No-Zones
Large trucks have four major blind spots:
Left Side Under Mirror and Extending Back
From the driver’s door toward the back of the truck, visibility is challenging. Any vehicle in the left lane traveling behind the driver’s door is not visible to the truck driver.
Right Side Under Mirror and Extending Back
Similar to the left side, from the right side of the semi’s cab towards the back of the truck is a significant blind spot. Vehicles traveling in one or two lanes over from the right of the truck and behind the cab may not be visible to the driver.
Behind the Truck (30+ Feet)
There is a blind spot of at least 30 feet behind a truck. Therefore, drivers must be careful not to drive too close.
Front of Truck (20+ Feet)
When driving in front of a semi-truck, the driver cannot see vehicles within the 20 feet zone immediately in front of them. As a result, it can be dangerous for drivers traveling directly in front of a large truck since semis need more time to slow down and stop.
The primary causes of these large “no-zones” are no rearview mirrors, the vehicle’s height, and length.
Who is Liable for a “No-Zone” Truck Accident?
Liability for “no zone” truck accidents will depend on the specific circumstances of the accident. In general, there may be several parties who could be held liable, including:
- The truck driver: If the truck driver was driving recklessly or negligently, such as by failing to check their blind spots or using their signals, they may be held liable for the accident.
- The trucking company: If the trucking company failed to properly train the driver or maintain the truck, they might be liable. Additionally, if the trucking company has policies or practices that encourage drivers to speed or drive for long hours without rest, they may also be held responsible.
- Other drivers or parties involved in the accident: If other drivers or parties contributed to the accident, for instance, by swerving or changing lanes without signaling, they may also be held liable.
In some cases, multiple parties may share liability for a “no zone” truck accident, and the driver or trucking company may point the finger at you. As a result, it is critical to collect as much evidence from the scene of the crash as possible. For example, photographs of the vehicles and the accident scene, witness statements, police reports, and any available video footage.
Common Causes of “No-Zone” Truck Accidents
The common causes of “no-zone” truck accidents include:
- Distracted driving: If the truck driver is distracted by their phone, GPS, changing the music, etc., they may not be paying attention to the road and other vehicles around them, increasing the likelihood of a “no-zone” accident.
- Fatigue: Truck drivers often work long hours and may become fatigued, impairing their judgment, reaction time, and decision-making.
- Speeding: Commercial trucks are large and heavy, and they require a longer distance to stop than other vehicles. If a truck driver is speeding, they may not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision, especially if another vehicle or pedestrian is in a “no-zone” area.
- Improperly trained drivers: If a truck driver is not adequately trained in how to safely operate the vehicle or how to check blind spots, they may be more likely to cause a “no-zone” accident.
Proving liability for a “no zone” truck accident can be challenging. Consult an experienced Waco trucking accident lawyer who can guide you through the process and help you seek the compensation you deserve.