Preventing road accidents by checking blind spotsNovember 27th, 2015
All vehicles have a blind spot to a certain degree. Some vehicles have larger blind spots than others, but we all need to be mindful when we are driving to check our blind spots in order to reduce avoidable accidents on our roads.
Blind spots are areas around a vehicle that cannot be seen by either looking straight ahead or checking your mirrors. The main areas for blind spots are to either side of a vehicle, or areas that are obscured by the bodywork of your car. Every year many accidents are caused by people simply not checking their blind spots correctly. But what can be done to improve this?
Blind spots can be a problem for both stationary cars waiting to move off as well as cars moving along a road changing into a different lane. Making additional checks before undertaking any manoeuvres in your car is absolutely essential, and could save someone’s life.
When you are moving off from being stationary, you should:
- Make sure you look in all mirrors to check what is going on around you. This includes behind you as well as in front and to the side of the car. Before driving away you should also look over your shoulder to ensure there are no other road users entering your blind spot that you have been unable to see in your mirrors. Sometimes it can help to wind down a window to get a better view down the road and see any approaching vehicles.
- Although some cars have technology that can assist with blind spot detection and approaching vehicles, it is also advisable to have a final look around yourself before moving off to ensure there are no other vehicles in your way.
When you are travelling along a road and looking to change lanes, you should:
- Ensure you check to the side of your vehicle where you are planning to move to make sure there is not another road user occupying the space you want to move into. Do not fully look around as this can take your focus away from the road in front, but ensure you keep an eye on all of your mirrors to fully assess what dangers and other road users are around you before moving across.
- Even though you have kept an eye on your mirrors, you should always do one last check by quickly glancing over your shoulder to gather as much information as possible before moving over. This is especially important when you are; changing lanes, joining a motorway or dual carriageway from a slip road, or when traffic is merging into your lane from either the left or right hand side.
- It is also advisable to consider where blind spots are in other vehicles and avoid driving in these places for a long period of time. When you are overtaking you should pass the vehicle and not idle in their blind spot for longer than necessary.
Blind spots can be particularly dangerous for cyclists, who are often not noticed when cycling alongside a vehicle. Drivers need to ensure that they fully check for cyclists in their blind spots, especially at junctions and on roundabouts. Likewise, cyclists should try not to cycle in a vehicle’s blind spot as much as possible and should never undertake large vehicles with bigger blind spots on the right hand side. This is particularly important with HGVs and lorries, which account for many cyclist fatalities every year.
If you have been involved in an accident caused by a driver not adequately checking their blind spot, you may be able to claim accident compensation. At CFG Law, we are specialist serious injury solicitors with over 30 years’ experience helping clients after a road traffic accident.
We can help with head and brain injuries, spinal injuries, amputation and serious orthopaedic injuries, as well as fatal accident claims. Our compassionate solicitors are here for you every step of the way. Not only will we fight for the maximum amount of compensation available to you, we can arrange bespoke treatment plans to help you on to the road to recovery.
Contact us today to see how we could help you and your family get your lives back on track. Call free 24 hours a day on 0800 612 8196, or simply fill in your contact details online and one of our dedicated team will call you back.