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How Buses’ Increased Blind Spots Could Get You Killed

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A vehicle’s blind spot is an area in which the driver can’t see objects in his mirrors or peripheral vision. Most vehicles have average blind spots between 12 and 20 feet, depending on the driver’s height. Taller vehicles such as SUVs can have blind spots as great as 28 feet. However, due to an increased height and length, buses’ blind spots are significantly larger and more numerous. 

How Buses’ Blind Spots Affect Driving Visibility

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the majority of bus accidents occur as a result of the bus driver not being able to see pedestrians and vehicles alike. Although these drivers are trained to be aware of their surroundings, the sheer size of the buses’ blind-spot zones make it extremely difficult to constantly have a 360 degree view point. This is why pedestrians and drivers alike need to avoid these four distinct bus blind spot “no-zones:”

  • Side. The length of a bus keeps the driver from being able to see all the way down either side of the vehicle. If you’re driving next to a bus, make sure you can see the driver in his mirror. If you can’t, then you’re in the side no-zone—and he can’t see you either.
  • Rear. Buses have huge no-zones in the rear of the bus. If driving behind a bus, always try to keep at least four-car lengths between your front bumper and the rear wheels of the bus. Remember, if he brakes and can’t see anyone behind him, you need the extra space to stop yourself. If you’re walking behind a bus, make sure the bus isn’t attempting to back up and keep at least 20 feet in between you and the bus.
  • Front. Due to the height in which the driver is sitting, his forward blind spot is greater than a car driver’s blind spot. The higher his sightline, the less he sees in front of the vehicle. Therefore, it is imperative that when driving or walking, you make sure there is at least 10 to 15 feet of space between you and the front of the bus.
  • Turn. Truck and bus drivers sometimes need to swing to the left in order to safely make a right turn. They can’t see cars or pedestrians squeezing between them and the curb. Make sure you you’re aware of the intended trajectory of a bus before walking or driving near the right side.

What to Do If You Forget About the No Zones and Suffer Significant Injuries

You should always be aware of your surroundings and follow proper safety precautions around buses. However, if you suffer from a blind spot-related bus-collision injury, you may still be entitled to compensation. Call us today for a free consultation and review of your case. If you weren’t at fault, you shouldn’t be responsible for your medical bills. Don’t become blindsided by treatment debt—you owe it to yourself to let us help you.

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David Hart
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