Many people believe trucks have a better view of the road than other motorists. After all, they are seated higher off the ground and have large mirrors. So why wouldn’t they see everything before other drivers do?
The opposite is true. Commercial trucks have more significant blind spots. While there are ways to stay out of them and keep safe, that isn’t always possible. Here’s what you need to know about a truck’s blind spots and staying safe on the road.
A Blind Spot: What is It?
A blind spot is a location near a vehicle where its driver cannot see other vehicles. On a semi-truck, these are called the No Zones. Cars in the No Zones are essentially invisible to the truck driver, raising the risk of accidents.
Where Are the Blind Spots on a Big Truck?
The No Zones on big trucks include:
- The first 20 feet in front of the cab in the truck’s lane and the adjacent right lane
- The 30 feet behind the trailer
- Left lane behind the driver’s side door
- The right side of the truck and two or three lanes over
The California Driver’s Manual includes a graphic to show the No Zones. If you are in the shaded areas, you are at a greater risk of experiencing a truck accident.
How Do You Stay Out of the Blind Spots of a Truck Driver?
Best practices for staying out of blind spots include:
- Stay away from the sides: Driving alongside a truck is dangerous because the driver likely can’t see you. Do not stay at a truck’s side. If you must drive alongside, drive as safely as possible until you can pass. Never pass on the right side.
- Watch the mirrors: If you can’t see the side mirrors on a truck, the driver can’t see you. Always drive where you can see them.
- Give the truck space: Leave ample space in front and behind the truck. Do not tailgate, and be patient when trucks move slowly.
- Use your signals: You can’t pass a truck without spending some time in a blind spot. Signal early so the driver has enough time to see you and know you will be in a No Zone.
- Merge safely: Do not slow down while merging in front of a truck. Move at a passing speed and adjust to traffic when there is a safe distance between you and the truck.
Who is at Fault in Truck Blind Spot Accidents?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recommends that truck and bus drivers check their mirrors every eight to 10 seconds and scan ahead 15 seconds to anticipate dangers. However, fatigue, impatience, and aggressive driving may keep truckers from following these recommendations. If a truck driver’s reckless actions contribute to a collision, they could be liable for any resulting injuries and damage.
However, the fault could also rest with other drivers. For instance, a driver who cuts too closely in front of a truck and into its blind spot could also bear responsibility if their actions result in a rear-end truck accident or override crash. An experienced truck accident attorney can identify every liable party after reviewing the facts of the case.
Get Help From Our Pasadena Truck Accident Attorney
Truck accidents usually lead to devastating injuries. If you were in a truck accident, reach out to an attorney at The Law Offices of Pius Joseph for advice about your legal options. Contact us today for a free consultation.