Drivers traveling along I-5 and other highways and roads through Seattle must remain vigilant to avoid accidents. A common type of collision that can happen on busy, multi-lane roads is a blind spot crash. These crashes commonly occur when someone is merging on a highway or attempting to change lanes and fails to see another vehicle already there because the other vehicle is in a blind spot. It’s important to understand blind spot crashes and what to do to avoid them.
What to know about blind spots
All vehicles have blind spots around them, which are areas that the drivers can’t see with their rear and side-view mirrors. A driver’s blind spots extend along the sides of their vehicle and the front and rear. The size of a vehicle’s blind spots depends on the size of the vehicle and other features. For example, a large truck has a large blind spot in the adjacent passing lane and two lanes to its right, along with significant spots in the front and back of the vehicle. Collisions can happen when the driver fails to see someone in their blind spot and moves into the lane where the other car is present, resulting in a broadside or rear-end collision.
How to avoid blind-spot crashes
While it’s impossible to avoid all blind-spot crashes, drivers can take the following steps to mitigate the risk of a motor vehicle accident:
- Avoid passing a vehicle using the right-hand lane on a four-lane, divided highway
- Maintain an adequate distance between your vehicle and the one in front
- While driving around a large truck, stay far enough back to see the driver’s side mirror
- When pulling out to pass, check over your shoulder to look for vehicles, and use your turn signal
- Always check your mirrors and over your shoulder before changing lanes
- Use your turn signals whenever you change lanes
In addition to taking these steps, you should also avoid traveling next to a vehicle in its blind spot for a long distance. Instead, pass other cars quickly, and give them plenty of room before re-entering the lane in front of them. Finally, drivers should watch what other drivers are doing so they can avoid a crash if another vehicle moves into their lane.