Trucks are some of the most dangerous vehicles on the road. Their size and weight mean that many drivers in smaller vehicles are at a serious disadvantage during accidents involving them. While truck drivers are always responsible for avoiding collisions, others around them can try to drive defensively to prevent a lapse in safe driving from transforming into a tragic accident.
One of the most important things that drivers can do to increase their safety around trucks is avoiding their blind spots. While all vehicles have blind spots, 18-wheelers have "no-zones" that are particularly large and difficult to manage for drivers. So, by viewing blind spots as no-zones—areas you should never spend time in—and learning where they are for trucks, you might save your life and the lives of others on the road.
Important Truck “No-Zones” You Should Know About
There are four common blind spots that drivers may accidentally find themselves spending too much time in. While traffic conditions don’t allow for vehicles to remain outside of blind spots, knowing them can help drivers be more aware of a truck’s movement, so they’re ready for any situation.
The back of a truck might be the most common places for cars to spend too much time in. As trucks typically travel slower than smaller and more agile vehicles, it’s easy to be in an 18-wheeler's rear blind spot mistakenly.
Since trucks are long, their rear no-zone is much larger than many people anticipate. This means they might have trouble knowing if they are visible or not to a trucker. The best way to tell if you are in a trucker’s rear blind spot is by looking to see if you can see the trucker’s face in their side mirrors. If you can’t see them, they certainly can’t see you.
Since trucks have a long front no-zone, many people don’t realize they are cutting them off when they change lanes in front of one. Getting in front of an 18-wheeler is dangerous. Truck drivers have little to no visibility for about 20 feet in front of their vehicle. Always wait until you are more than 20 feet away from a truck before changing lanes in front of it.
Many drivers make the mistake of driving next to a truck for too long. While truckers have mirrors that allow them to check the hard-to-see spots of their truck, they can still make mistakes. When passing a truck, remember that the longer you are next to them the more likely you are to be in an accident. It’s best to pass a truck as quickly as possible when next to them. If you can’t pass or are uncomfortable, safely decrease your speed to get out of the right no-zone. Notably, it’s always best to pass a truck on its left side.
The right side of a truck also has a danger that makes it an especially important no-zone to be cautious of. When trucks turn right, they swing to the far left. Doing this makes their right blind spot even more severe and prevents them from being able to notice any cars that might be trying to pass them. All drivers should give trucks the space they need when they are making a wide turn.
While safer than the right side of a truck, passing on the left is still dangerous. Just as with the rear blind spot, making sure you can see the trucker’s face in their mirrors is the best way to tell if they can see you. However, it’s always best to assume that they can’t see you or that they might forget to check. Never drive on the left of a truck and pass as safely as possible. Failing to pass a truck on the left also places other drivers behind you in danger as it inhibits their ability to pass the truck safely.
Blind Spots Don’t Excuse Truck Accidents
While keeping the no-zones listed above in mind can save your life or the lives of others, it’s important to know that truckers are exempt from failing to check their blind spots. Truckers are responsible for monitoring their surroundings at all times. When they fail to keep track of the smaller vehicles near them, they cause serious accidents that cause life-changing and fatal injuries.
At Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC, our team knows how devastating truck accidents are. That’s why our Pennsylvania truck accident lawyers fight for the compensation that clients deserve after a preventable accident. We never back down from a fight because we know that our clients and their future are depending on the results that we obtain.
Call Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC today for help after a serious truck accident. A consultation with our Pennsylvania truck accident lawyers is free when you dial (888) 498-3023.