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What are blind spots and why do they matter?

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accident

Blind spots are areas around a vehicle that a driver cannot directly see through their rearview or side mirrors. These visual fields can vary in size, depending on the type of vehicle, with larger vehicles like trucks and SUVs typically having larger blind spots than smaller cars. 

Understanding and managing blind spots is crucial for auto safety, as failing to account for them can lead to collisions, especially when auto operators are changing lanes or merging into traffic.

Blind spot safety basics

The significance of blind spots in auto safety cannot be overstated. When drivers are unaware of or fail to check their blind spots before moving, they risk colliding with another vehicle, cyclist or pedestrian that may be hidden from view. Such collisions can result in significant property damage, severe injuries or even fatalities. The dynamics of blind-spot accidents often involve side-impact or merging collisions, which can be particularly dangerous due to the lesser protection offered by the sides of most vehicles compared to the front and rear.

To combat the risks associated with blind spots, several strategies and technologies have been developed. One of the simplest techniques is the proper adjustment of mirrors. While this doesn’t eliminate blind spots entirely, it can significantly reduce their size and the risk they pose. Drivers are also encouraged to turn and look over their shoulders to directly check blind spots before changing lanes or merging.

In addition to these manual checks, many modern vehicles are equipped with blind-spot monitoring systems that alert drivers when another vehicle enters their blind spot. These systems typically use radar or cameras to detect vehicles and provide visual, auditory or haptic feedback to the driver, reducing the likelihood of a collision.

Despite these advancements, drivers ultimately have to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings, including continuously monitoring and checking blind spots. This is especially true when it comes to cyclists, pedestrians, playing children and animals, which may not trigger blind spot sensors as vehicles do. 

Safe driving practices and technological advances can significantly mitigate the risks associated with blind spots.