Tractor Trailer Blind Spot Locations – No Zones
Most drivers have had at least one close call due to their blind spots, the area of the road that they can’t see through either side or rear-view mirrors. In most cases, you have to turn your head to see the blind spot. “Fisheye” mirrors also help drivers see their blind spots.
In general, larger vehicles have larger blind spots. Tractor trailer blind spots can contain entire vehicles. That’s why many trucks have warning stickers that read “If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you.” A tractor trailer truck driver also sits high off the road, which limits vision further. Fisheye mirrors can bring blind spots into view, but they also distort distances.
The blind spots for large trucks are sometimes referred to as “no zone” areas – and, as another driver, you want to stay out of these areas. Tractor trailers have blind spots in the rear of the truck, the front of the truck, and the side of the truck. If a car is in one of the no zones, the drive usually cannot see it at all. Many tractor trailer accidents are caused by truck drivers changing lanes and collided with a car in a no zone. When you’re driving on the highway, try to minimize your time driving beside tractor trailers; it’s better to pass quickly or stay behind them. Limit your time in the no zones to just a few seconds for passing. Always keep a safe distance between your vehicle and large trucks. Don’t follow too closely, and don’t let a tractor trailer follow you too closely. Be a defensive driver.
Before you pass a tractor trailer, make sure that the truck’s turn signal is not on. Also wait and couple of seconds and make sure that the truck is not slowly drifting into your lane. Don’t assume that the truck driver can see you.
When you pass a tractor trailer on the highway, make sure that you get far ahead of the truck before getting back in the right-hand lane. Cars that quickly cut in front of large trucks often cause truck drivers to instinctively slam on the brakes, which could endanger all surrounding vehicles. This kind of thoughtless behavior causes accidents. If the trailer’s load is not properly secured, for instance, hitting the breaks can cause a shift in weight and topple the entire trailer.
Next time you find yourself cruising down the highway beside a large truck, remember that tractor trailers command deadly force. Stay out of the no zones, and you’ll greatly reduce your changes of being in a tractor trailer accident.
Also be on the lookout for tractor trailers making right turns. The “right turn squeeze” is another common cause of tractor trailer accidents. When large trucks make sharp right turns, they must swing the truck to the left to negotiate the turn. If your car is to the left of the truck, there’s a good chance that the truck will cross over into your lane while make the turn. This can confuse other motorists, and sometimes large trucks wind up squeezing cars out of their lanes and into other vehicles or walls. Watch for turn signals, and try to anticipate the truck driver’s move. Never try to squeeze past a truck when it’s making a turn. Just be patient and stay behind the truck. Otherwise, you’ll end up in a no zone, and that’s a dangerous place to be.
Finally, avoid getting sandwiched between two large trucks – with one in front of you and one behind you. Many times, neither truck driver will be able to see your car. If the truck driver in front of you hits the brakes, or if you hit the brakes . . . well, you can image what happens.
In 86 percent of tractor trailer fatalities, the people killed are not occupants of the truck. In most cases, they’re other motorists. Defensive driving will reduce your changes of being in a tractor trailer wreck, but it won’t always prevent an accident.
If you’ve been injured in a tractor trailer accident, or if you’ve lost a loved one due to a negligent truck driver or trucking company, call Neff Injury Law at (404) 531-9700 to schedule your free consultation. Call now; the longer you wait, the weaker your case becomes.