Staying safe while on the road is a constant challenge for drivers. Driving near large trucks, however, seems to be a more significant challenge than many people expect. In fact, one out of every eight deaths in car accidents involves a large truck. While you can usually always see these chipping vehicles on the road, they may not always see you. How can you be sure that you are in a safe space around them?
Know the blind spots
A bigger vehicle means that everything that comes with it is bigger, including the blind spots. For semi-trucks, their blind spots can obscure multiple vehicles at the same time. There are four primary zones that you should always avoid to ensure the truck driver can see you.
- The front of the truck – the engine block of a semi-truck makes for a huge blind spot for vehicles. A truck driver cannot see a vehicle within 20 feet of its front bumper, and even more for compact vehicles.
- The back of the truck – due to the length of the trailer on a semi-truck, a truck driver cannot see anyone within 30 feet directly behind them. While there are mirrors in place on the truck, they cannot show everything.
- The left side – You may think that just because you are so close to the driver that they can see you, but this is not the case. If you are in the lane immediately to the left of a semi-truck, they are likely unaware of you if you are next to the front half of the truck.
- The right side – this side of the vehicle is by far the most dangerous side of the truck. The two lanes to the right of an 18-wheeler are nearly invisible to the driver. Avoid remaining in this area at all costs.
When a driver cannot see you, they may change speeds or lanes and crash into you. Because of how deadly these accidents can be, it is best to avoid these blind spots entirely.
Do not take chances with your health
Remember: if you cannot see a truck driver while driving near them, they cannot see you. Do not risk your safety and the safety of your passengers by assuming you are in a safe spot. If you are driving near a semi-truck, be sure to give them the space they need to drive safely.