Riding visibly is a primary way motorcyclists can protect themselves from the negligence or inattentiveness of other drivers on the road. But no amount of bright or reflective clothing or equipment can make the rider visible to a driver who doesn’t check his or her blind spots before making a turn or lane change. A driver who fails to do this and injures another is liable for the damages caused. The Law Offices of Mauro Fiore, Jr. provides a voice for the injured victim, protecting the rights of motorcyclists injured in Los Angeles and on the roads and highways throughout Southern California.
Every automobile driver has two blind spots that lie to the left and right and to the rear of the vehicle. Although the term “blind spot” is commonly used, these “spots” are really “blind regions” covering quite a large area on either side of the car. If another vehicle is traveling in these blind spots, the automobile driver will not be able to see the other vehicle by looking in side or rearview mirrors. The problem is even worse when motorcycles are in the blind spots, as motorcycles are smaller and more difficult to spot. Compounding the problem is the fact that motorcycles are less common on the road than cars, and an automobile driver may not be thinking about the possibility of a motorcycle in the blind spot. Blind spots are especially dangerous for motorcyclists and are a major source of motorcycle accidents and injuries.
Blind Spots and No-Zones in Los Angeles
The blind spots for semi-trucks are considerably greater than for cars, given the bulk and shape of these large vehicles. The U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) has launched a campaign to make the public aware of a blind spot experienced by commercial truck drivers. These blind spots are on both sides of the cab and extend very far back on the passenger side, to behind the trailer more than one lane over. Several car lengths directly in front of the cab and behind the trailer are blind spots as well. US DOT has dubbed these areas no-zones, and is advising drivers not to “hang out” in the no-zone.
While this advice is certainly prudent, there are many times when traveling in the “no-zone” is unavoidable. Regardless of the danger, or perhaps precisely because of the danger, it is incumbent on the truck driver to drive with care when changing lanes or turning. Proper driving for a car or truck includes signaling intentions well in advance and not making sudden lane changes.
Negligence is Still Negligence
Riders are trained to be aware of blind spots and to not spend a lot of time or linger in a driver’s blind spot. Riders know to move past and through a blind spot as quickly as possible. Obviously, however, there are times when a rider will be in a vehicle’s blind spot, either while passing, or when stuck there because of traffic patterns. At all times, it is the responsibility of the driver to be aware of a blind spot and to rotate his or her head before changing lanes and not rely solely on mirrors. Changing lanes without fully checking the blind spot is negligent driving, and attorney Mauro Fiore, Jr. fights to hold the driver accountable for his or her actions. A court may be tempted to assign some degree of negligence to the motorcyclist for being in the blind spot, and it takes an experienced and aggressive trial lawyer to justify the motorcyclist before a jury which is likely to be made up of automobile drivers and not bikers. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury or wrongful death at the hands of a negligent driver who failed to check his or her blind spots, contact The Law Offices of Mauro Fiore, Jr. for immediate assistance and effective representation.