Can a truck driver see you in their blind spot?
One of the most dangerous kinds of crashes a driver can be involved in is with a semi. The trailers on semis are big and unwieldy enough to exert a huge amount of force on whatever they hit including your car. At Batesky Law Office, we handle semi accidents.
Do you know how to stay safe while driving around these large semis? Well I have the answer for you. In order for you to stay safe driving around with all these semi trucks, you need to know where they can and cannot see you. More than likely if you cannot see the trucker in their side view mirror, then that trucker probably cannot see you either!
What is a blind spot you might ask? Well, a blind spots are the area of the road that you cannot see when looking forward or through you rear –view or side mirrors. In small vehicle that most people drive the most common bind spot is called the rear-quarter, which is behind you and to the side of you. In most cases drivers can help compensate for this problem by adjusting the side-view mirror or turning their head to look behind them or on either side of them.
Because a semi trailer is about 65 to 75 feet long they have much longer and wider blind spots which means multiple vehicle’s can disappear to the driver. A semi’s blind spot extends to the full width of the trailer and half of the length. This means that the blind spot for a semi could extend to two or three lanes in width and is even less visible on their passenger side. The reason for the larger passenger side blind spot is due to the position of the driver in the truck’s cab. So remember, if you are going to pass a semi, then do so, on the left side where the truck has a smaller blind spot.
The height of the truck is also a contributor the issue of blind spots and semi’s. Because a semi is so high it may be difficult for a trucker to see low-riding vehicles, or anything that is close to the front of the truck. Now trucks do have rear-view mirrors, but they are not very helpful to them. If your vehicle is directly behind a truck within 30 feet of the trucks bumper than you may be invisible to the driver. Therefore, avoid staying directly behind a semi. The truck driver’s blind spots are not as easy to compensate for, so it is important that other drivers learn what the no-zones are.
Now, what are the “no-zones” that you need to avoid? The no-zones for a semi are just another word for blind spots. If you decide to pass an 18 wheeler, then you should do so quickly and linger in those no-zones. Starting at the front of the truck, there is a no zone that extends about 20 feet. If you are driving in this zone, especially if you are in a low-lying or small vehicle, than it is likely that you are invisible to the truck driver. While you are driving, if you lingering in a blind spot of a truck driver and they cannot see you, then it is possible when they change lanes they will collide with your vehicle or even force your vehicle off the road. Many of the most serious semi accidents are caused by motorists driving in their blind spots.
Not only is it important to be aware of semi’s blind spots and staying out of them but there also a couple other things you as a driver can do to stay safe around semi’s. First, give trucks a larger following distance. Because of the size and weight of a semi, they cannot stop as fast as smaller vehicles. Be cautious when a semi is tailgating you , the best thing to do is pull over and let them pass. It takes a semi 40 percent longer to stop than it does for a car to stop. Trucks are involved in many rear-end collision s because they are unable to stop before colliding with the other vehicle. Second, be aware of the turning radius of the truck. A large semi has a turning radius around 55 feet. When you see a semi making a turn make sure that you are not in their blind spot. DO NOT attempt any risky maneuvers trying to get ahead of the truck! Lastly, avoid all risky behavior. We all know it can be frustrating sharing the roadways with semi’s, but refrain from engaging in aggressive behavior. Make sure you pass on the left side, and give yourself enough time and space to get in front of the truck. The last thing that you want to do is get in a accident with a semi that more than likely weighs 20 to 30 times more than your vehicle.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation 9 out of 10 accidents between cars and semi’s the person killed was the one in the smaller vehicle. Focus on being a responsible, aware and safe driver when sharing the roadways with semi’s and other large vehicles. Call Batesky Law Office to discuss your rights to compensation if you have been in an accident with a semi-truck.