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What Are Truck "No-Zones"?

The commercial trucking industry has boomed over the last few years. With the increase in shipping demands, more and more large trucks are on highways than ever before. While this may seem like a good thing for the economy, it can be a very dangerous thing for the average driver. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 333,000 commercial trucks were involved in accidents in 2012. A large number of these truck accidents often lead to serious property damage and injuries for occupants of smaller passenger vehicles.

So how can drivers avoid getting into a collision with a truck? While not always in your control, you can take steps to be as defensive a driver as possible by staying out of a truck's "no-zones."

Identifying a Truck's "No-Zones" On the Road

While every driver has experienced a scare with a blind spot, truckers are at a little more of a disadvantage. Being in such large vehicles, it can be difficult for them to see anything on their sides and nearly impossible for them to see what is happening behind them. That means they won't always know if someone is behind them, trying to pass them, or in a lane they want to change over into.

The four major "no-zones" of commercial trucks you need to know include:

  • The Front: Since 18-wheelers and trucks can weigh around 80,000 pounds, slowing down isn't always easy for these large vehicles. That means you should never cut off a semi-truck, as they won't be able to brake as effectively and quickly as a car would. Also, always try to avoid getting in front of a commercial truck and slowing down immediately.
  • The Right Side: This is the largest blind spot for a commercial trucker. They typically can't see when a driver is passing them on the right side. They may also take wide right turns, squeezing a vehicle into the curb or wall if they don't realize the truck is turning.
  • The Left Side: Just like the right side, there is a left blind spot, but it isn't as large. Still, if you are too far behind the driver window, they may not be able to see you in their mirror. Never drift into the left side of a truck and cruise with them. Try to pass them or stay two lanes away.
  • The Rear: While likely the least dangerous, you could still get into a serious accident if you try to treat a semi-truck the same as any other vehicle you would drive behind. Give them sufficient following distance and be on the alert, as a truck driver likely has no idea you are behind them. If they brake suddenly, colliding into a large truck could be devastating.

While it is imperative that every driver do their part to improve road safety, sometimes accidents still happen. If you or a loved one was involved in a truck accident due to the negligence of another driver, do not hesitate to turn to the Law Office of Scott Righthand for reliable counsel. Our Bay Area accident attorneys are well-versed in the laws surrounding these collisions and are ready to help.

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