Driving alongside semi-trucks can be intimidating. If you’re on the road with an 18-wheeler, it is important to keep in mind that they too have blind spots, similar to cars. However, their blind spots are much more significant.
Avoiding a truck’s blind spots can help reduce the chance of an accident.
18-Wheeler Trucks Have “No” Zones
Due to their massive size, semi-trucks have substantial blind spots, referred to as no-zones. These no-zones make it particularly difficult for truck drivers to see other cars around them.
Usually, if you cannot see a truck driver through his mirrors, he is unable to see you. Therefore you should always aim to stay out of a truck’s blind spots. Sharing the road responsibly with an 18-wheeler can help you avoid accidents.
A Truck Has Four Main Blind Spots
A truck’s size and shape make it difficult for truck drivers to see around them. In particular, semi-trucks have four main blind spots: behind, in front, and on either side of the truck.
Behind the Truck
Truck drivers cannot see what is directly behind them because their mirrors do not allow it. Cars have rear-view mirrors that let drivers see what’s behind them, but a truck does not have this handy feature.
While trucks have side-view mirrors, they only allow drivers to see so much behind them. This is why many trucks have stickers on the back warning other drivers to maintain a safe distance.
The mirror rule applies here: if you cannot see the truck driver’s face from behind the truck, you’re too close, and they cannot see you.
In Front of the Truck
The blind spot directly in front of the truck is less considerable. However, what makes it so dangerous is the limited stopping distance an 18-wheeler truck has.
Large trucks take a while to come to a complete stop. If you’re too close to the front of a truck and have to brake quickly, it is more than likely the truck won’t have the time and distance to stop, and it will cause a horrible accident.
On Either Side of the Truck
Truck drivers are seldom able to see cars next to them. A truck’s side-view mirrors are typically angled to reflect behind them, not directly next to them.
If possible, it is always best to avoid driving right next to a truck.
How to Avoid an 18-Wheeler’s Blind Spots
Truck drivers have the difficult task of driving semi-trucks. If possible, try to make it easier — and safer — by avoiding a truck’s blind spots.
You can successfully share the road with an 18-wheeler by following these rules:
- If you need to switch lanes and get in front of a truck, make sure there’s enough room to do so before switching lanes
- Keep your distance — following behind a truck too closely can result in an accident if the truck needs to stop suddenly
- If you need to pass a truck, try to pass it on the left side — the blind spot on the left is less significant
- If you need to pass a truck, pass as quickly and safely as you can to avoid lingering in its blind spots
If You’ve Been Involved in a Truck Accident, Consult with an Attorney
Unfortunately, some truck accidents are inevitable. If you experience a truck accident, speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
The Saeedian Law Group has extensive experience representing injured clients in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. We understand the challenges an accident and resulting injuries can cause, and we strive to work diligently to get you the financial recovery you deserve.
Our firm offers free consultations. Contact us today to meet with a qualified truck accident attorney.