Driving can be stressful at times, especially when you’re surrounded by large commercial trucks. In 2017, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) counted a total of 4,657 reported crashes involving large trucks. That’s almost 9% of all traffic accidents in the United States! While not all of these crashes were necessarily caused by blind spots, they are known to be a top cause of 18-wheeler accidents.
Where Are a Semi-Truck’s Blind Spots?
Semi-truck drivers can only see what is visible from their vehicle’s windows and mirrors. This leaves several spaces around the truck known as “blind spots” because objects there cannot be seen from the driver’s seat. If a truck speeds up, slows down, or changes lanes while a car is in a blind spot, it could have deadly consequences.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are four major blind spots on a tractor trailer. One blind spot covers roughly 20 feet in front of the cab, and another covers 30 feet behind the trailer. There are also wide blind spots on both sides of the truck that start somewhere around the cab and extend back across lanes of traffic.
How to Avoid Being in a Blind Spot
Truck drivers can’t help that their vehicles have blind spots. No matter how often they check their mirrors or how carefully they may drive, there are some areas they just can’t see. The following are a few tips you can use to keep yourself from being stuck in a blind spot.
Give Trucks Plenty of Space
You can avoid being stuck in a blind spot at the front or back of a truck by always keeping space between you and the truck. Not only will both vehicles have plenty of time to brake in the case of sudden slowdowns, you’ll also be able to pass safely and comfortably with more space to maneuver.
If You Must Pass an 18-Wheeler, Don’t Sit Beside It Too Long
If you plan to pass a large commercial truck, make sure you complete your pass as soon as possible. Sitting beside a truck on the highway can mean being in a blind spot for several minutes at a time. After a while, the trucker may simply assume you’re not there and change lanes right into you.
Stay Aware of the Vehicles Around You
If the road is especially busy, make sure you have a good sense of the vehicles around you and how you’ll be able to maneuver around the trucks. For example: If there is a car sitting just ahead of the truck in your passing lane, you may not be able to pass completely and will end up stuck in a blind spot.
Hurt in a Blind Spot Accident? Consult with a Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been injured in an accident where you were caught in a semi-truck’s blind spot, you deserve help you can trust. Consult with an experienced Houston semi-truck accident lawyer for free by calling us today at (832) 844-6700.