Commercial trucks are an efficient way of transporting goods throughout the United States. However, this means that passenger vehicles must share the road with these large, heavy vehicles. The disparity between a passenger vehicle and a commercial truck leads to catastrophic truck accidents that typically result in fatalities or traumatic injuries. One way to avoid a truck accident is to learn about a truck’s blind spots.
What is a Blind Spot?
A blind spot is the area around a vehicle where the driver is unable to see another vehicle, person, or object by looking at the vehicles mirrors. A commercial truck has several blind spots due to the size of the vehicle and the limitations of mirrors. For example, a commercial truck does not have a rear-view mirror because of the trailer; therefore, the driver must rely only on the side mirrors to see the rear of the vehicle.
The average commercial truck is between 70 and 105 feet long when hauling a trailer. The length limits the drivers view on all sides of the truck. Even though a truck is much higher than a passenger vehicle, the height does not give the driver a better view. The height can actually prevent the truck driver from seeing a passenger vehicle close in front of the truck.
The common blind spots or “no zones” for a commercial truck are:
- The area in front of the truck cab;
- The areas below and behind the driver-side window;
- The area on the right side of the cab;
- The area right behind the trailer; and,
- The area from the right side of the cab back to the end of the trailer — this extends three lanes from the side of the truck.
Tips For Avoiding Commercial Truck Accidents
The Our Roads, Our Responsibility campaign of The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is designed to educate the public about the dangers posed by commercial trucks. The campaign is also designed to provide valuable information to help educate drivers on how to drive safely around commercial and large trucks. According to the FMCSA, 7 out of 10 deaths in commercial truck accidents are the people in the other vehicle. For this reason, the FMCSA offers the following tips to keep you safe as you share the road with commercial and large trucks.
- Learn where the “no zones” are located on a commercial truck and avoid driving in these zones.
- Know how long it takes a truck to stop. At 65 mph, it takes a commercial truck the length of two football fields to come to a complete stop.
- A commercial truck makes wide right turns. Allow plenty of room for a truck making a right hand turn. Never drive in a truck’s blind spot or try to cut a truck off that is making a right hand turn.
- When possible, pass on the left side of a truck. The blind spot on the left side is much smaller compared to the blind spot on the right side of the truck.
- Do not follow a commercial truck too closely. If you cannot see yourself in the side mirrors, the truck driver cannot see you either.
- Never cut in front of a truck. When passing a truck, allow more room when pulling back into the lane in front of the truck. You should be able to see the entire front end of the truck before pulling back into the lane.
Have You Been Injured In A Truck Accident?
If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact the New Orleans truck accident lawyers of The Olinde Firm for a free case evaluation. Contact our office at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to schedule a free legal consultation.