Blindspot collisions are a constant threat for motorcyclists. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the #1 cause of motorcycle blind spot accidents is “failure to see,” meaning the motorcyclist was invisible to the other driver until the moment of impact.
By NHTSA estimates, there are more than 800,000 blind spot accidents in the U.S. every year! Why is it so hard to see others on the road? Why are motorcyclists in particular prone to being hit in blind spot crashes?
Below, we’ll answer these questions and provide tips for avoiding blind spot accidents on California’s roads. We’ll also share some legal wisdom for injured motorcyclists.
Size and Shape are Key Factors in Blind Spot Crashes
In these crashes, size matters. Vehicles have various levels of blind spots depending on the shape of the body and the objects that obstruct the driver’s view.
- Motorcycle: 100% view in all directions from the motorcyclist’s vantage point.
- Passenger car: Typically a 60% view around the vehicle, with 40% blind spots.
- Pickup truck, SUV, or van: Up to 50% view, with up to 50%+ blind spots.
- Semi-truck/big rig: More than 50% of the view may be obscured due to blind spots and dead zones to the front, sides, and rear of the truck cab.
As you can see, cars and trucks have huge blind spots! Big rigs with trailers have enormous blind zones that include up to 20 to 30 feet directly in front of or behind them. It’s no wonder that an innocent motorcyclist can be so hard for them to see.
Preventing Blind Spot Motorcycle Accidents
Everyone on the road should take care to avoid crashes due to blind spots. Many of these crashes are preventable and are due to driving negligence – especially when it comes to sideswiping and running over motorcyclists.
To avoid blind spot crashes, motorcyclists can follow these defensive driving techniques:
- Be aware of the large blind spots other drivers have, especially trucks.
- Remain vigilant about blind spots while passing.
- Don’t tailgate or exceed the speed limit.
- Stay away from other vehicles while they’re backing up and turning.
- Don’t ride in bad weather that creates low visibility.
- Wear bright and reflective clothing, especially at night.
- Do routine maintenance on your motorcycle to ensure it’s operating safely.
- Take a motorcycle safety course.
Motorcyclists should be especially careful while traveling at highway speeds, where crashes can be catastrophic. Also, stay vigilant in parking lots where other vehicles are making unexpected maneuvers.
Low-speed blind spot crashes are on the rise due to the increasing sizes of standard SUVs and pickup trucks. A huge SUV or pickup with tall tires has enormous blind spots.
Comparative Negligence in Motorcycle Blind Spot Crashes
Here’s something every motorcyclist should know about blind spot accidents in California. You can still start a personal injury claim if the other person is blaming you for the crash!
Each person’s level of fault is assigned as a percentage using the comparative negligence rule. This means one person could be 100% responsible and the other zero percent. Or there could be a 50/50 shared fault situation, or anywhere in between.
Your total award will be reduced by your share of the blame. So if you’re found to be 10% at fault and the award is $100,000, you’ll still receive $90,000. That could be more than enough to pay your medical bills and other costs from the crash.
That’s good news for motorcyclists, who are often blamed for blind spot crashes even when it’s not their fault. You can still win plenty of compensation.
Give Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers a call and put us on the case. We have decades of experience with handling California blind spot accidents and protecting motorcyclists’ rights.
We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After an accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many types of personal injury claims, including blind spot accidents. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering from your accident while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.