Semi-trailer trucks are unique vehicles that require special consideration whenever you approach them on the road. Because of their large size and heavy weight, with some weighing as much as 40 times the average car, it is important to behave cautiously whenever you are driving near a semi-trailer truck. One of the primary hazards of driving near a large truck is getting caught in the truck’s “no-zone.” The no-zone is the large blind spot area around the truck where the driver cannot see you.
Avoiding the No-Zone
Knowing a truck’s blind spots can help you avoid the no-zone and reduce your risk of a serious truck accident. Semi-trailer trucks possess blind spots on all sides of the vehicle, some of which are in areas that a driver may not predict. When driving near a semi-trailer truck, be sure to avoid these no-zones:
- Directly behind the trailer truck
- The left side of the truck from the cab to about halfway down the trailer
- The right side of the truck from the cab to the back of the trailer
- Directly in front of the truck
While truck drivers have large mirrors to help them spot nearby traffic, these do not cover all areas around a truck. Tailgating or riding directly alongside a truck could prevent you from being seen and could cause an accident if the truck driver attempts to change lanes or slams on the brakes without noticing your presence. Likewise, cutting directly in front of a truck could startle the driver or prevent him or her from seeing you, creating an accident risk.