An operator of any large commercial vehicle—such as a semi, big rig, tanker, or bus—has blind spots. You can't control what they see, but you can be proactive and protect yourself and your family.
Understanding the most common blind spots and why tragic accidents occur because of them helps you be a more careful, defensive driver.
Where Are a Truck’s Blind Spots?
Even though commercial vehicles are higher off the ground than passenger vehicles, they have more blind spots:
Trucks have large no-zone spots directly in front of the vehicle where the driver can't see any cars immediately ahead. That's why you shouldn't shortcut in front of him—you're out of sight.
At the rear
Truck drivers don't have rear-view mirrors, so they rely on side mirrors to see traffic behind them. Because of this, there's a blind spot about 30 ft. behind the truck—not a place where you want to be.
On the sides
Even with side mirrors, the length of a tractor-trailer, bus, or tanker still creates blind spots along both sides—the one on the right is much larger.
Why Do Negligent Truckers Cause Blind Spot Truck Accidents?
If you're injured in a blind spot collision, the insurance company for the driver and trucking company may try to claim that you were at fault by traveling within one of those spots. However, the reality is many of these crashes are caused by the driver’s actions. Leading causes of large truck wrecks include:
- Operator inexperience or lack of proper training
- Aggressive driving, such as cutting off another motorist or tapping the brakes
- Unsafe lane changes without checking blind spots or signaling
- Distracted driving
- Fatigue, which is often caused by driving longer than allowed under federal hours of service regulations
Steps You Can Take to Avoid a Blind Spot Big-Rig Crash
Fortunately, you can take these safety precautions to avoid being the victim of a blind spot truck accident:
- Now that you know where the blind spots are on a commercial vehicle, avoid traveling within them.
- Don't tailgate—always maintain at least three car lengths behind, keeping in mind how long it takes for a truck loaded with cargo to stop.
- Always use turn signals.
- Look in the truck driver’s side mirror before passing him to be sure you see his face. This means he can see you, too.
- Pass quickly. If you're unable to do so, wait to pass and fall back out of the truck’s blind spot.
- Be sure you're far enough ahead of the truck for the operator to see you before returning to his lane after passing.
- Give the trucker additional space when he's turning to avoid a wide-turn accident.
Were You Injured In a Kansas City Area Truck Accident?