It’s a common occurrence to drive alongside tractor-trailers on highways and local roads. Even though this is something many of us do every day, many motorists fail to realize the size of trucks’ blind spots or the dangers associated with traveling in one. Becoming familiar with the scope and locations of these areas can help prevent deadly accidents.
Locations and Dangers of Trucker Blind Spots
Commercial vehicles have large blind spots around all four sides. When passenger vehicles or motorcycles are in these zones, truckers cannot see them. This can quickly create a dangerous situation. It’s important to be aware of trucker blind spots, so you can drive responsibly around them. As a general rule, if you can’t see the driver in their mirror, it’s likely they cannot see you.
- Front Blind Spot. This blind spot is directly in front of the truck and is caused by the engine. Depending on the truck’s design, the blind spot typically extends for 20 feet from the front of the vehicle. This blind spot is most dangerous for passenger vehicles who are merging in front of a truck. If the trucker does not see the vehicle or sees it but is unable to stop in time, the smaller vehicle could be run over.
- Side Blind Spots. There are blind spots on the left and right sides of large trucks. On the left, the driver’s side blind spot extends for one entire lane, starting at the front right corner of the door. On the right, the blind spot is larger. It extends from the passenger door and out as far as 100 to 200 feet behind the truck. It spans across two lanes of traffic. These zones are especially dangerous during passing and turning.
- Rear Blind Spot. Similar to the location in the front, the rear blind spot extends directly from the back of the truck. It extends for approximately 30 feet, depending on the design of the tractor-trailer. These zones become dangerous when traveling uphill and downhill when truck speeds vary the greatest.