Blind spots continue to be a great concern on roads and highways. Statistics from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate that in each of the last 5 years there were about 850,000 reported blind-spot accidents with between 300 to 500 deaths. Yet despite these numbers, some drivers have yet to master the basics of road safety.
Distracted drivers, impaired drivers, speeding drivers, and drivers under the influenced all contribute to accidents and tragedies on the roads. However, the most simple safety precautions are not being utilized.
The Blind Zone or the Twilight Zone?
Drivers now have vehicles equipped with several new features to help avoid accidents, yet these vehicles are not designed solely to eliminate the need for driver attentiveness.
What is a blind spot or blind zone?
Blind spots are "areas near the left and right rear corners of your vehicle that you cannot see in your rear-view mirrors." AAA has expanded upon this definition to include the area directly behind a vehicle which cannot be seen in the rear-view mirror because it is too low and /or too close to the back of the vehicle. Hence, the blind zone requires a driver to actually turn his or her head in order to see the other vehicle in that blind spot.
Contributing Factors and Blind Spot Accidents
One contributing factor to the increase in accidents is that larger vehicles, such as SUVs, pickups, and minivans have become increasingly popular. Moreover, these vehicles have larger blind zones than passenger cars. Additionally, new car design trends now feature thicker pillars, high rear decks, and short rear glass—designs which make blind spot accidents an even greater risk of occurring.
The NHTSA continues to show that the number of blind-spot accidents occurring each year is on the rise. However, the numbers may be even higher than reported as many blind-spot accidents likely go unreported, including side-swiping other cars when making a lane change and reversing or “backing up” accidents in parking lots of supermarkets and other retail stores. Even young children have fallen victim to being run over in their own driveways when a driver reverses without physically turning his or her head to check the blind spot is clear.
Eliminating Danger Behind You
Defensive driving has never been more important—it is not just pesky tailgaters and drivers texting behind the wheel, but drivers who fail to check behind to cover the blind spot that rear view mirrors do not.
Additional tips include the following:
Even slow speed accidents can cause a variety of injuries, some of which can increase in severity over time. If you have been injured by a driver who skills behind the wheel fell below those reasonably expected by someone in control, a skilled DuPage County personal injury attorney can explore your legal remedies. Call Mevorah Law Offices LLC today to schedule your free initial consultation.
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