Any experienced driver knows the challenges of blind spots. But the toughest challenges are for the truck drivers. The larger the vehicle, the larger these blind spots become. Blind spots to the sides and rear of a tractor-trailer are inevitable. Even passenger vehicles have blind spots if the mirrors are not adjusted properly or if the vehicle is a larger-than-average vehicle. In the trucking industry, these blind spots are called “No Zones.”
In addition to the increasing number of truck accidents caused by the ,,No zones”, we have compiled some safety tips on how to avoid blind spots of large trucks.
Where are the Blind spots / No Zones
Being aware of a truck’s blind spots is one of the best ways to prevent being involved in an accident. Also, keep in mind that a truck traveling at 65 miles per hour will take the length of approximately two football fields to stop. In other words, big rigs have blind spots all around them, including the area in which a big truck cannot stop safely if a car pulls over in front of it too abruptly.
Some people think that truckers can see anything just because they are positioned higher than the other drivers on the road. But that isn’t necessarily true. Most big trucks have several no zones where truckers can easily lose track of smaller vehicles:
- Side blind spots- truck trailers have large No Zones on both sides of the truck that angle out and back. If you are in the position of a driver passing by a truck, you need to remember that if you drive in those areas, you might get sideswiped by a trucker who can’t see you. In order to avoid this, look for the driver’s reflection in his mirror: if you cannot see him, he probably cannot see you
- Front blind spot – this blind spot covers roughly 20 feet directly in front of the engine. |As we already mentioned above, big trucks require more time and, therefore, more distance to stop than smaller passenger vehicles. In this No Zone, passenger cars literally disappear from view.
- Rear blind spot– truck drivers have no rearview mirrors and must rely on their side mirrors to check on surrounding traffic. When you sit so close to the truck that you cannot see the mirrors, the driver has no idea of your location. In order to avoid accidents due to this blind spot, you need to keep a distance of at least 200 feet from the back of the truck.
Tips For Avoiding Truckers’ Blind Spots
Now when you know where a trucker’s blind spots are, you might want to follow few simple tips in order to stay out of trouble on the road.
Pass carefully– passing through a truck’s blind spot may be unavoidable, but you should never continue to travel in a known blind spot. It’s best to pass trucks as quickly and as safely as possible to ensure the truck’s driver can see your vehicle.
Always look for their mirrors– this ensures you that the driver can see you passing by him.
Don’t tailgate- as we’ve already mentioned, truck blindspots extend almost 30 feet behind them. Or approximately 20-25 car lengths of distance ( 4-second following distance behind trucks)
Signal your intentions clearly- To make it easier for trucks to navigate on the road with you, make sure you clearly signal your intentions. Failing to signal, on the other hand, can make it more difficult for the trucker to predict your behavior, increasing the risk of an accident.
While on the road, multiple parties may hold responsibility for an accident. Knowing a truck’s blind spots and being respectful of these truck’s massive size, can save lives. Knowing where not to drive, can help you stay safe on the road.
In addition, you can read how to conquer road rage.