When a smaller vehicle gets into an accident with a commercial truck, the size difference often results in catastrophic injuries for the passengers in the smaller vehicle. When another vehicle on the road weighs several tons more than your car, it is easy to feel powerless to defend yourself around semi-trucks. A great way of staying safe around trucks is by avoiding their “No-zones,” or places the truck driver cannot see other cars.
There are many things a driver can do to stay safe around trucks. Recognizing where blind spots are for a truck can save lives. Each side of the truck has its blind spots and different ranges for them. Here are the differences on each side:
Front of the truck
Like any car, the driver cannot see what is immediately in front of their vehicle. The difference for a trucker is that they cannot see what is up to 20 feet ahead of their car. The massive engine block and height of the driving cabin create a large blind spot in front of the truck.
Behind the truck
While the truck does have mirrors to grant the driver vision around the vehicle, they cannot show everything. This lack of vision results in a blind spot of at least 30 feet behind the truck.
The left side of the truck
From roughly the driver’s door to the middle point of the trailer, a driver cannot see you. Driving in this area is dangerous, as the trucker may not be aware of your position before changing into your lane.
The right side of the truck
This side of the truck has the most significant blind spot. Cars are nearly invisible to a trucker from the length of the engine and out two lanes to the right. This blind spot is one of the reasons trucks typically drive in the right-most lane to reduce their blind spots.
Play it safe
A good rule of thumb for driving near trucks is, “if you cannot see the trucker, they cannot see you.” This rule includes both the direct vision of the vehicle or through a mirror. Never assume a trucker can see your car when you are driving by one, and try to push past these trucks safely.