Avoiding a Truck Driver’s Blind Spots
A truck driver’s blind spots are the areas around the truck that are not visible to the driver. These blind spot areas are also known as “no zones.” It can be dangerous to drive in a big rig’s no zones if the driver is unaware of you and changes lanes, executes a turn, or stops suddenly. In a collision with a large commercial truck, passenger vehicle occupants are likely to suffer serious or fatal injuries.
Where Are a Large Truck’s Blind Spots?
Semi-trucks have blind spots all around the vehicle, including:
- Just below and behind the driver’s window
- An area of approximately 20 feet directly in front of the cab
- Behind the trailer for approximately 30 feet
- Along each side of the truck, extending at an angle out and back
How Do You Avoid a Tractor Trailer Driver’s Blind Spots?
If you are driving in a no zone area, the truck driver may not see you, despite the large size of the side mirrors on the truck. Following these tips can help you keep yourself and your passengers safe:
- Do not linger in a truck’s no zone – get clear of the truck as soon as possible.
- Allow 20 car lengths behind – never tailgate a large truck.
- Signal early and pass a truck on the left, where the blind spot is smaller.
- Look for the truck driver’s face in the mirror before you pass.
- When you pass a semi-truck, do it quickly, or fall back out of the truck’s no zone.
- Pay attention to turn signals on a large commercial truck, particularly if the truck is turning right.
- Keep in mind that trucks make wide turns at intersections and need extra room to maneuver, for right-hand turns in particular.
What Types of Accidents Are Caused by Truck Blind Spots?
Blind spots for big rig drivers can lead to serious injuries when trucks collide with much smaller passenger vehicles.
- When a truck changes lanes while another vehicle is in its side blind spot, it can sideswipe the other vehicle or force it off the road – or into a collision with another vehicle.
- If a passenger vehicle is in a truck’s rear blind spot and the truck stops suddenly, it can lead to a serious rear-end collision, or a catastrophic underride accident, in which the passenger vehicle slides under the truck’s trailer.
- A semi-truck can plow into the rear of a vehicle that passes in a truck’s front area no zone if the truck driver fails to see the vehicle.
- A passenger vehicle in a truck driver’s blind spot can be struck while the truck is making a wide right turn.
What Should You Do If You Are Hurt In an Accident Caused by a Truck Driver’s Blind Spot?
Truck drivers have a responsibility to clear their blind spots when changing lanes, turning, or operating their trucks. Although other drivers should stay out of a truck’s no zones for their own protection and safety, that does not absolve truck drivers or the companies that hire them from liability for accidents and injuries caused when a truck driver fails to clear his blind spots. If you were caught in a truck’s no zone and seriously injured in a collision, your best course of action is to speak with an experienced Long Beach personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You may have a claim for compensation for your injuries.
We offer a free initial consultation at The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV. Mr. Low is rated 10.0 Superb by Avvo and has won hundreds of millions for our clients. Call us at (562) 901-0840 or toll-free at (888) 454-5569 to find out how we can help.