There are several areas surrounding a truck that are frequently not visible by the truck’s driver. These areas are the space directly in front of the truck, the sides of the truck’s trailer, and directly behind the truck. Below, we discuss exactly where a truck’s blind spots are and how to avoid being caught in them.
In Front of the Truck: The front end of a commercial truck is very tall, which means that the driver cannot see things on the ground directly in front of the truck, including people and cars. You can avoid being in this blind spot by following these safety guidelines:
- When passing a truck on the highway, avoid cutting back into the truck’s lane too quickly. Always wait to get back into the right-hand lane until you can see the entire front end of the truck in your rear-view mirror. Do not slow down once you have merged back into the lane. This can lead to an override accident.
- If a truck is tailgating you, change lanes to allow the driver to pass you or speed up to put more distance between you and the truck (only speed up if you can do so safely and still comply with speed limits).
On the Sides of the Truck: Trucks have blind spots on the sides of their vehicle just like normal cars. However, since trucks are so much longer than the average car, these blind spots are much larger, especially on the right-hand side (it spans two to three lanes to the right). To avoid getting caught in a blind spot:
- Never match speeds with a truck while riding in an adjacent lane.
- Never pass a truck on the right. Always pass on the left because the driver’s blind spot is smaller. If you are in the right lane and the truck in front of you just veered to the left, DO NOT attempt to pass the truck. Trucks make very wide turns which means they must veer left before making a right turn. If you attempt to pass the truck, you could end up involved in a “squeeze play” accident when the truck driver makes his right turn.
- When passing a truck, move quickly and deliberately. Always use turn signals to indicate your intentions.
At the Rear of the Truck: This area is not visible in either the truck’s mirrors or the driver’s viewpoint. You can avoid being in this blind spot by following these safety guidelines:
- Do not tailgate the truck. Always leave a safe amount of space between you and the truck in front of you.
- Make sure that you can see what is happening in front of the truck (e.g., other vehicles, traffic lights, and road signs, etc.) If you cannot see these things, you should pass the truck or slow down and put more space between you and the truck.
The biggest safety tip to avoid being in a truck driver’s blind spot is to look for the truck’s side-view mirrors. If you cannot see the driver in his mirrors, he cannot see you. For more safety tips like this, check out the Montero Law Center blog. And if you need legal help after a crash, contact one of our truck accident lawyers at 954-767-6500 to schedule a free consultation.