BATON ROUGE, Louisiana. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are certain areas around large trucks that pose unique dangers to drivers and passenger vehicles. Trucks not only have wide blind spots, but they also require more space to come to a safe and complete stop. The FMSCA notes that one of the major risks that trucks pose to drivers is their large blind spots. Trucks have blind spots on both sides of the vehicle, but their largest blind spot is on the right side. This blind spot encompasses two lanes and can even extend behind the truck. While trucks have mirrors to compensate for these blind spots, these regions of the road around a truck where the driver cannot see other cars can pose a serious danger to other road users.
Drivers may not always be aware of the risk of passing a truck on the right side. While it makes sense that a truck driver won’t be able to see drivers as well on the right, passenger vehicle drivers may not always have this in mind as they pass a truck on the right. Some states and local areas have passed laws to limit which lanes trucks can use on highways to prevent this danger altogether. According to the Advocate, Baton Rouge recently proposed its own measure that would keep trucks on the right lane on the highway. Given the real danger of truck blind spots, the measure made good common sense. Yet, the Advocate reports that it died in the house.
The law would have only required trucks to limit their driving to the right lane during rush hour times. However, the measure faced opposition. Critics claimed that requiring buses and commercial vehicles to use only the right lanes during rush hour could actually worsen traffic and create a more dangerous situation. Additionally, there were certain logistical issues raised by lawmakers, given the design of roads around Baton Rouge. Requiring trucks to drive on the right lane would have required the vehicles to merge across many lanes of traffic in some situations.
Part of the problem has to do with the government’s failure to update and improve its roads. According to the Advocate, there is a $14 billion backlog in bridge and road needs for the area alone. This could also be contributing to traffic and logistical problems with limiting truck routes and lane uses.
At the end of the day, if you’re driving on the highway, there are still ways you can protect yourself. Avoid passing a truck on the right side. If you must, watch the driver carefully and avoid staying in the blind spot. Finally, if you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident in Baton Rouge, LA, consider reaching out to the truck accident attorneys at Miller, Hampton, & Hilgendorf. Visit us at https://www.mlhlaw.com/ to learn more about your options and rights. Our firm can review the many factors that could have played a role in your crash—from poor roadway design, construction, lack of signage, or neglect on the part of a truck driver or company. You may be entitled to seek damages for your injuries and medical bills. Contact us today.