We all know just how many big trucks are on the road these days. Getting into an accident with one of these vehicles can be life-altering. Broken bones, bruises, lacerations, even spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries are common in these types of accidents. While there is no way to completely avoid the possibility of an accident, you can work to minimize your risk for an accident.
Because of the size of these vehicles, the drivers have several blind spots they have to deal with while on the road. Blind spots are areas where the driver is unable to see others on the road around them
Big Truck Blind Spots
The typical large truck, semi, or tractor trailer has 4 distinct blind spots that should be avoided if possible. If you have to enter a truck’s blind spot, it’s important to know your position and why the driver may not be able to see you while driving.
Directly in Front of the Truck
The position of the cab of a big truck is elevated in such a way that if you are directly in front of the vehicle, the driver will be unable to see you. This can pose a problem in tight quarters where keeping distance from the vehicle is difficult.
Additionally, the vehicle may not be able to determine if you are slowing down or breaking in time to stop the vehicle properly. This can cause a major rear end collision which, considering the size of the vehicle and depending on the speed the vehicle is traveling, can end up with severe or even life threatening injuries or death.
Directly Behind the Truck
Because large trucks are fully enclosed vehicles, there is no rear view mirror in order for them to be able to see directly behind them. Added to that is the length of the vehicle. This makes it so that they cannot see behind them through the side mirrors either.
When driving behind a truck that cannot see you, it is possible for them to make abrupt maneuvers that can lead to such as stopping short, quick turns, etc.
The NTSB and other safety experts recommend that vehicles stay back at least thirty feet behind a vehicle so that they can be seen in the side mirrors. This also gives enough distance for you to be able to react properly in the event of a maneuver by the driver of the truck.
On Either Side of the Truck
The final two blindspots to look for with a big truck is that a trucker is blind to vehicles that are directly beside them on either side. The height of the cab as well as the design of the vehicle make it so that the side flanks of the vehicle are not visible by the driver when looking out or using the mirrors.
You should stay a safe distance out from the sides of the vehicle if possible one extra lane over in order to avoid being in the blindspot and risking a potential collision.
Even if you are in a wreck with a big truck due to being in one of the blind spots, you may still have a case for damages depending on the unique circumstance of the accident, so it’s important to speak to a personal injury lawyer right away after your accident.