Big trucks come with blind spots large enough to make vehicles large and small seemingly disappear. Truck drivers should always check their blind spots to ensure no cars are hiding there. Unfortunately, they do not always live up to that responsibility, and their mistakes and inattention result in catastrophic accidents that leave Nevadans severely injured and worse.
In this blog post, we discuss the ins-and-outs of trucking blind spots, with a focus on how drivers of smaller passenger vehicles can avoid falling victim to a devastating trucking blind spot accident. Speaking with a truck accident attorney can provide the assistance you need if you have injuries caused by a truck related accident.
1. Look for the Driver in His Mirrors
If you cannot see a truck driver in his mirrors, the truck driver cannot see you. It is not enough to be able to see a truck’s mirrors. Your safety when passing or driving near a truck depends on seeing the truck driver’s reflection. Even then, do not trust that the driver sees you. Seeing a trucker’s reflection in his mirrors only means that he can see you—if he follows safe driving practices.
2. Remember, Blind Spots Are Not Just Beside the Truck
Many people make the mistake of assuming that a truck only has blind spots on its sides, as a passenger car does. In reality, however, in addition to blind spots on both sides of the vehicle, a typical tractor trailer visibility extends about 30 feet past directly behind its trailer and about 20 feet directly in front of the cab. Depending on the common trucks you have in your area those distances for blinds spots might vary. Avoiding all of these blind spots can present a challenge on a busy road, but you can stay safer by knowing where they are. When you see a truck on the road, remember that the driver must pay attention to everyone around him, and he may easily lose track of your vehicle or other small vehicles on the road. By paying mind to his blind spots and exercising caution, you make his job easier and keep yourself and your passengers safer.
3. Pass With Care
On many roads, it is impossible to avoid a truck’s blind spots completely. On any highway with two lanes traveling in the same direction, you have no choice but to enter a truck’s blind spot when passing the truck. The trick is to pass with care. Never pass a truck in the lane immediately to its right. It is very difficult for the trucker to see you in this position, even when using his mirrors. When passing on the left, spend as little time as possible in the blind spot without speeding or driving recklessly. If you find you cannot safely pass through a truck’s blind spot quickly, hang back and wait for the right opportunity. Better to delay passing than to put yourself and your passengers in danger.
4. Try Not to Linger
You know where the truck’s blind spots are, and you do your best to stay out of them. When traffic forces you into that area or you drive alongside a truck, however, take note. Try not to linger in the blind spot any longer than you must. The longer you linger in the truck’s blind spot, the greater the odds that the truck driver will fail to notice or lose track of you, which could result in an accident. In some cases, this may mean increasing your speed to safely pass the truck driver. In other cases, you may need to reduce your speed and allow the truck to move safely ahead. Remember, a road trip does not require you to race anyone, including big trucks. Slowing your speed can help increase the odds that you will reach your destination safely.
5. Pay Attention
You tried to pass a truck, but traffic patterns changed and you got caught in the truck driver’s blind spot. Unfortunately, you have cars close behind you that prevent you from reducing your speed safely, or you may no longer have the ability to safely move your vehicle forward faster than the traffic in the other lane. When you know you have slipped into a truck’s blind spot, pay attention. If you notice the truck signaling intent to move into your lane or starting to drift, a brief tap on the horn can let the truck driver know about your presence and prevent an accident.
6. A Truck’s Blind Spots Aren’t Just About Visibility
In a truck’s blind spot, also often called a no zone, you do not just risk an accident because the truck driver cannot see you. No zones do not just exist because of visibility concerns. When you drive in a no zone, the truck driver may also lack the ability to maneuver or stop safely in an emergency. If you slam on your brakes or change lanes too abruptly on top of a truck, the driver may lack the ability to stop in time. Likewise, if you travel in a truck’s side blind spots, you may make it impossible for the driver to safely maneuver through difficult turns. Instead, choose to keep your distance from big trucks when possible.
7. Pay Extra Attention at Dangerous Times
Blind spots create problems in perfect driving conditions. They cause even more trouble for truckers and drivers of passenger vehicles in challenging road conditions. Be extra cautious of passing a truck or lingering in its blind spot when the weather is bad. Likewise, be aware that trucker fatigue is a major problem plaguing the trucking industry. If you encounter a truck late at night on a straight, lonely road, be alert to the truck drifting out of its lane and avoid blind spots at all costs.
Did you get trapped in a truck’s blind spot and end up in an accident? You may need an attorney to help seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contacting a truck accident lawyer as soon after your accident as possible will allow you to ask questions and start filing the claim for your accident.
Benson & Bingham Accident Lawyers, LLC
626 S 10th St
Las Vegas, NV 89101