Semi-trailers and other trucks such as garbage trucks have much larger blind spots than passenger vehicles. This is mainly due to the fact that they are much longer and much wider than other vehicles. And while many might think a truck only has blind spots along their sides, there is an area on each end of the truck that is a blind spot as well. Drivers need to be aware of these so they can avoid remaining in a truck’s blind spot for too long, and keep themselves safe while on the road. Accidents do happen though, despite all precautions, so if you have been injured in a truck accident, you should know to contact a skilled Aurora accident attorney for assistance.
Blind Spot Locations
There are five blind spots in total that surround a truck. The first is directly in front of the truck. Because truck drivers sit much higher up than those traveling in other vehicles, the driver often cannot see the portion of the road directly in front of them. Drivers should leave a space of about one car length in front of any truck to avoid being caught in this area.
Just like trucks have a blind spot directly in front of them, there is also one directly behind them. There is simply no way a truck driver can see what is directly behind their trailer, which is approximately 53 feet long. If drivers are in this area and the truck stop suddenly, it may result in an underride accident, which is when the car behind the truck ends up partially or fully underneath the truck’s trailer.
Importance of Understanding Locations
Both sides of a truck have blind spots, but it is much bigger on the right side. Because this is the side furthest from the truck driver, there is a large area that is not shown by the truck’s side mirrors, and truck drivers have no way of knowing what is in that area. Drivers that need to pass a truck on a multiple lane highway should do so only on the left side if possible. If it is not possible to pass on the left, drivers should pass the truck on the right side as quickly as it is safe to do so.
The blind spot on the left side of a truck is smaller than the one on the right simply because this is the side the driver sits, making it easier to see vehicles on the left. However, this blind spot still encompasses about one-third of the trailer, so vehicles should avoid being on this side as well. A good rule of thumb for drivers to the left of a truck is that if the truck driver’s face is not visible in the side mirror, the vehicle is not visible to the truck driver.
Lastly, a truck driver will also have a blind spot when turning, and this is often indicated by a sticker on the back of the truck. Trucks make very wide turns due to the length of them, and vehicles that are caught within the angle made by the turning trailer can be in serious danger of getting hit.
Truck drivers are responsible for their vehicle just like anyone else, and that includes checking their blind spots. But truck accidents can be very serious and result in severe injuries or even death. It is important that drivers avoid a truck’s blind spots and if they find themselves in one, to get out of it as quickly as possible.