Just like passenger vehicles, semi-trucks have blind spots. However, a truck’s size and mass create larger blind spots than those of a typical car. These are known as no-zones. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports 411,000 accidents involving large trucks in 2014. It’s important you know how to drive safely around large trucks, including how to avoid the three no-zones.
What Are the No-Zones?
The Georgia Department of Driver Services defines no-zones as those danger areas around a semi-truck where a passenger vehicle essentially disappears from the view of the truck driver. When this happens, an accident is more likely to occur. The three no-zones of a semi-truck are:
- Sides. The side-view mirrors on large trucks are designed to help drivers spot other vehicles on either side of the truck. However, on each side is a space in which none of the trucker’s mirrors can make you visible to him. The truck’s right side is more dangerous than the left, since large trucks often must negotiate wide right turns.
- Rear. In a typical car, it’s possible to see behind the vehicle using the rear-view mirror. However, large trucks have no rear-view mirror and no visibility directly behind them because of the trailer attached.
- Front. Because trucks are heavy and large, it is difficult and unsafe to bring them to sudden stops. Drivers are trained to keep large buffer spaces in front of them in case they must come to a halt quickly.
Strategies for Avoiding No-Zones
Because driving in these no-zones can increase the likelihood of an accident with a large truck, it’s important to know how best to protect yourself and your family while on the road with these vehicles:
- Do not follow a truck too closely
- Do not stay in a no-zone for too long, especially when passing
- Always pass a large truck on the left
- Never cut off a semi or pass too closely in front
Remember that when you travel in close proximity to large trucks, if you can’t see the driver, the driver can’t see you.
Get the Help You Need
If you need to discuss an accident with a large truck, the attorneys at Duffy & Feemster can answer any questions you might have. Contact us at (888) 707-1197. If you found this information helpful, share it with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter.