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Anne Arundel County Accident Lawyer Discusses Invisible Semi-Trucks

The motorcycle’s small size can make it invisible to motorists in busy traffic situations. In fact, this is a common reason for collisions between cars and motorcycles. A less obvious fact is that large semi-trucks have visibility problems sometimes. Although this seems counterintuitive, there are special circumstances that can render them invisible. When this causes an accident with a car, the fault may lie with the truck driver, the motorist, or both individuals. These circumstances include:

Poor Visibility Due to Weather Conditions

Fog, heavy rain, or a whiteout blizzard can reduce visibility down to little more than 10 or 20 feet. A motorist driving too fast for the conditions will leave herself with insufficient braking distance by the time she sees a stopped or slow moving truck in her path. In whiteout blizzards, the problem is made worse by poor traction.

Semi-Truck U-Turns near Blind Hills or Turns

U-turns on highways are dangerous for any type of vehicle to attempt. However, the danger is greater for semi-trucks because their size prevents a quick execution of the maneuver. Trucks may even get stuck halfway through the turn because of a narrow highway or a driver’s inexperience.

Should the U-turn occur near a blind hill or turn, traffic coming from that direction is endangered by the truck. Truckers using a road meant for smaller vehicles may be forced into a U-turn because of the low height clearance of an overpass.

Semi-Trucks Without Visible Trailer Lights and Reflectors

A common reason for this problem is failing to clean dirt or mud from lights and reflectors. A thick layer of grime will render invisible otherwise perfectly functional lights and reflectors on the truck’s trailer. This makes the trailer invisible at night and may cause deadly underride accidents.


The visibility of reflectors on the sides and rear of semi-trucks has more to do with contrast than with brightness. That’s why they’re most visible at night when their reflected light is easily seen against a dark backdrop. However, this contrast is weak in the twilight conditions of dawn and dusk, which make reflectors less effective. At the same time, the dim ambient lighting makes the rest of the semi-trailer difficult to see. A less than attentive motorist can fail to see a semi-truck in these conditions. This twilight effect is exacerbated when the backdrop is brighter than the truck’s surface.

If an accident with a negligent truck driver injured you or a loved one, an experienced Anne Arundel county accident lawyer can advise you of your legal options. For an assessment of your case, contact us at the Law Offices of John Critzos, II.

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