Commercial trucks pose a serious threat on the highways, mostly because
of their large size. Braking, turning, and other maneuvers are difficult
for such huge vehicles, which can cause a
truck accident without warning. The imposing size of tractor trailers also creates the
problem of additional blind spots for the truck driver, who might not
know that a vehicle is nearby until it is too late.
Where are Commercial Truck Blind Spots?
If you drive a noncommercial vehicle regularly, you know where your two
primary blind spots are and can check them fairly quickly. Commercial
truck drivers have a total of
five blind spots that cannot be checked even if they wanted to; with no rear
view mirror and side mirrors that are limited by the height and size of
the vehicle, blind spots remain in virtually all conditions.
Blind spots for tractor trailers are:
- Directly in front of the cab.
- Directly in front and one lane to the right.
- Directly behind the trailer for several car lengths.
- Left and behind the cab in a cone-like area.
- Right and behind the cab in a large cone-like area.
Drivers who linger in these blind spots intentionally or unknowingly could
actually be held responsible or partially liable for any resulting truck
accident. It is imperative that you learn the blind spots of a truck for
your own safety and that of other motorists around you who could be caught
up in a crash.
Ways to Avoid Blind Spots
We have already established that commercial trucks are massive and control
large portions of the road. With that said, you will reasonably need to
enter a truck’s blind spot at one point or another. How can you
do this safely and without increasing your risk of an accident?
Follow these tips to help prevent blind spot truck accidents:
Do not cut them off: This rule applies for all vehicles, but cutting off a tractor trailer is
even more dangerous. Trucks need more time and space to come to a complete
stop. If you cut in front of one and hit the brakes, you are going to
be hit from behind. You should also only move into the lane in front of
a commercial truck after you get far enough ahead to see the driver up
in the cab in your rear view mirror; this means you are far enough ahead
to be visible.
Do not linger: Most drivers travel 10 to 15 miles per hour faster than commercial trucks
while going down the highway. When you are passing a large tractor trailer,
try not to slow down. Just cruise by and you will be out of the blind
spot in a matter of moments. Do not linger within a blind spot. If it
seems that you cannot simply roll by the truck, slow down or change lanes
when it is safe to be free of the blind spot.
Left-hand pass: Truck drivers can see more out of the left side of their cab due to their
positioning than compared to the right. If you need to pass a truck and
have the option to choose the left-hand side, take it. You will exist
in a smaller blind spot on this side.
Do not tailgate: Once again, never tailgate anyone but tailgating a truck is much more
dangerous. You should always be able to see both mirrors of a big rig
when positioned directly behind it. Another general rule is to increase
the following gap from the average three-seconds to four.
What to Do If You Get Hit
Blind spots are not excuses a truck driver can use to escape liability
in a truck accident. If you are hit by a big rig, 18-wheeler, or any other
form of commercial truck, you could be able to collect total compensation
through a lawsuit or injury claim.
Contact Rourke and Blumenthal online to set up a
free case evaluation with our Columbus truck accident attorneys today.