You may think that trucks are simply big cars.
Big rigs have many significant differences from passenger cars, which is why you shouldn’t treat them like they’re simply big cars. Trucks are not only massive, but they also operate entirely differently than traditional passenger cars.
While your passenger car may have a couple of small blind spots, the “no-zones” (blind spots) on a big rig are enormous. Here’s what you should know about a truck’s no-zones:
Trucks Have Blind Spots On All Sides
When you learned how to drive, your instructor likely taught you how to look over your shoulder through the back window to make sure that there are no vehicles in your blind spot before changing lanes. As you know, this practice is very important for avoiding accidents.
Now, consider a large truck. They don’t have back windows to look through to see if anyone is in their no-zones. They have large side-view mirrors that can help them see if there are vehicles around them, but there are still significant blind spots even with these monstrous mirrors.
Take a look at the graphic below for a visual representation of trucks’ blind spots:
As you can see in the graphic above, trucks have blind spots on all sides:
- Front: 20 ft
- Back: 30 ft
- Left: One lane
- Right: Two lanes
The last thing you want is to be in a truck’s no-zone when they suddenly have to slow down, stop, or swerve out of the way.
Don’t Hang Out In The No-Zones
It’s never a good idea to drive in a truck’s no-zones for an extended period of time. The longer you drive beside a truck, the greater your chances are of being involved in a collision.
Consider this scenario, for example:
You’re driving in the lane directly to the left of a truck, close to the cab. You’ve been there for several minutes and the trucker has forgotten you’re there. The truck driver then has to swerve to the left in order to avoid running over a large piece of tire debris that’s in the road. Since you’re in the truck’s blind spot, they don’t know you’re there, so they swerve to the left, causing a collision with your vehicle.
Give Trucks Plenty of Space
It’s never wise to cut off a truck. As you now know, truckers are unable to see anything within 20 ft of the front of the truck. That means if you cut off a truck, there’s a good chance they won’t be able to see you.
Similarly, truckers cannot see anything directly behind the truck for at least 30 ft, which is one of the reasons why tailgating a big rig is particularly dangerous.
Another reason it’s unsafe to tailgate a truck is that if the truck has to slow down or stop, you may not have enough reaction time to avoid a collision. Unfortunately, passenger cars can easily slide underneath large trucks when panic stops become necessary. In such situations, passenger car occupant fatalities are sadly quite common.
A good general rule to keep in mind is if you can’t see the truck driver in their side-view mirror, then the driver cannot see you either. It’s in your best interest to make every effort to be seen by truck drivers so that you can avoid being involved in these types of accidents.
Getting into an accident involving a large truck can be very scary. If this has happened to you, you may be owed compensation for your losses. Our attorneys are highly skilled in truck accident injury law and have helped many others in similar situations. Let us see if we can help you, too.
Call us today at (800) 670-0567to discuss the details of your case!