What You Need to Know About Semi-Truck Blindspots
Every vehicle on the road has blind spots. However, the most significant blind spots belong to semi-trucks. Not only are these areas much larger than the other cars on the road, but the truck driver improperly checking them can have devastating consequences.
Every driver should know about semi-trucks’ blind spots, also called “no-zones” to avoid a truck accident. That’s why Shevlin Smith created the following infographic highlighting truckers’ lack of vision while behind the wheel.
“If You Can’t See Their Mirrors, They Can’t See You”
This catchphrase is one of the easiest ways to remember where those blind spots are. You should also try to remember:
20 feet ahead – The driver may not be able to see you if you quickly jump lanes in front of them. Truck drivers also need that extra space to come to a safe stop.
30 feet behind – Tailgating is a bad idea in general, but it’s particularly not safe when you are doing it to a semi-truck. In a regular passenger vehicle, a driver can look in their rearview mirror before making a decision. That’s not something a truck driver is able to do.
Lane to the left – When passing a truck, move as quickly as possible without speeding. If you linger in the blind spot, the driver may forget you are there. Don’t count on other drivers to always be alert.
Two lanes to the right – If you’re in an exit lane, a truck two lanes over may decide last minute to take the exit. Make sure you factor in the possibility that you might be in their blind spot and slow down or speed up accordingly. When people make last-minute decisions, safety sometimes takes a back seat.
Different states have different laws about passing on the right. In Virginia, you are permitted to pass on the right in most circumstances. Exceptions include when the roadway is obstructed, signage dictates otherwise, or when using a bicycle lane.
Truck Safety Measures
Truck drivers should be adjusting their mirrors to minimize blind spots, but this doesn’t always happen. There are also accessories such as extra mirrors and backup sensors available to them.
While there are definitely ways for truck drivers to reduce the blindness of their no-zones, it’s important that you err on the side of caution and assume there is nothing in place.
When is a Blind Spot Accident My Fault?
With most blind spot accidents, the responsibility is usually placed on the vehicle attempting a lane change or turn. Semi-truck drivers need to know where their blind spots are and how to work around them before they get their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
If you have been involved in a blind spot truck accident in Virginia, please get in touch with the attorneys at Shevlin Smith. We would love to listen to the details of your case and see how we can help you.