Truck Blind Spots: Know the Danger Zones
The majority of drivers have become accustomed to tractor-trailers on America’s roadways. In general, trucks populate congested highways, making them sizable obstacles to dodge when changing lanes. This can become nerve-racking during peak hours. Many motorists neglect to realize that trucks have a large blind spot on each side of the vehicle. Many drivers assume that trucks can see everyone on the road because they sit higher off the ground. This mentality can lead to dangerous accidents that may result in fatality. Fortunately, passenger drivers can educate themselves about a truck’s blind spots to lessen the chance of collision. Truck drivers can also reduce the chance of running into passenger vehicles by setting up additional mirrors to increase the scope of their no-zones.
How to Stay Away from Truck Blind Spots as a Passenger Driver
Drivers must become aware of the danger zones when they approach a truck. A blind spot refers to an area where a driver loses sight of other vehicles. Trucks have large rear-view mirrors that enable them to see without looking out a window. However, trucks have a large blind spot on both sides where passenger vehicles typically pass. A truck’s blind spots, also referred to as no-zones, extend far beyond the right and left lanes. If the passenger can not see the trucks mirrors, then the chances are the trucker can not see the passenger car. Two other no-zones exist in the rear and front of the truck.
Passenger drivers need to realize that trucks can not maneuver quickly during crisis situations, which makes patience a necessity when driving on major Interstates and highways. Passenger drivers need to stay out of their blind spots. Driving in truck blind spots can prove fatal for everyone on the road, including the passenger, commercial, and surrounding drivers. Passenger drivers can stay out of truck blind spots by avoiding tailgating, keeping the truck’s rear-view mirrors in sight, giving plenty of space when driving in front of a truck, and passing one with care.
When passing into one of the two major truck blind spots, drivers should signal their intention to pass way before attempting to do so. Pass quickly to avoid lingering in one of their four blind spots. Driving in front or back of the truck increases the chance of being hit by debris. Small cars and motorcyclists find themselves in danger the most when it comes time to passing trucks through their blind spots. Driving when a truck starts to make a right hand turn can also prove deadly. A truck needs a wide berth to clear the turn, which may require additional lanes. Pay attention to a truck’s brake lights when following behind to avoid collision. If all else fails, honk the horn to alert the driver behind the wheel.
How to Set Up Mirrors to Reduce Blind Spots as a Commercial Driver
Semi trucks have a large blind spot that can be hard to avoid for passing cars on either side of the vehicle. Some commercial drivers place warning signs on their tractors to keep drivers out of their blind spots. Truck drivers have limited options if they discover a passenger car in one of the four no-zones. They can choose to slow down and hope the passenger vehicle accelerates by them. Truck drivers can also reduce their blind spots by increasing the amount and position of mirrors on their tractors. Mounting two mirrors on both the right and left-hand side of the hood will narrow the size of existing blind spots. Two folding side mirrors helps reduce the blind spots in the left and right lanes. Adding a second mirror on the passenger side to help see the passing traffic on the right-hand side makes it easier to spot vehicles.
While having additional mirrors helps reduce blind spots, the driver must remain alert enough to use them when driving in traffic. Drivers can install accessories to help with catching mistakes while in action, such as audible tones, back-up sensors, wide angle cameras, and fish-eye mirrors. These technological gadgets will help alert drivers of on-coming traffic from the back, left, and right. The front sensors will notify the driver whether a car has cut in front of them or drifted back into the frontal no-zone.