Semi-Truck Blind Spots Are Larger Than You May ThinkJuly 9, 2021
Know the “No Zones” So You Can Avoid Them & Reduce Your Risk of a Truck Accident
Blind spots are risky, and most motor vehicles have them. With 18-wheelers, however, the blind spots are far more expansive than those associated with passenger vehicles—and far more dangerous. In fact, if you end up caught in one of a truck’s blind spots:
- The truck driver will not be able to see you.
- The trucker may have limited ability to safely maneuver an 18-wheeler away from you.
- You could be at a far greater risk of being hurt in a blind spot truck accident.
Understanding where these semi-truck blind spots are and how they are different from other vehicles’ blind spots can help you steer clear of these danger zones so you can stay safer on the roads.
Why Trucks Have Bigger Blind Spots
The main reasons why tractor trailers have bigger and more numerous blind spots are due to their:
- Height and length: This combination of factors creates larger visibility gaps between the sides of a semi-truck and the areas the mirrors capture. Multiple vehicles can fit within these sizable blind spots, which essentially sit right alongside the right and left sides of the semi’s trailer.
- Lack of rear-view mirrors: The trailers that trucks haul make it impossible to have rear-view mirrors reflecting the area behind 18-wheelers. This effectively means that, if you’re directly behind a tractor trailer, in all likelihood, you’re in a blind spot, and the truck driver cannot see you.
What Are “No Zones” for 18-Wheelers?
No zones are another name for truck’s blind spots. No matter what commercial trucks transport, they typically have no zones on every side. The table below details where and how big each no zone is for a standard tractor trailer.
Up to 25 ft.
Up to 200 ft.
~2 car lengths in the immediate left-side lane (starting from the end of the cab)
~1 car length in the immediate right-side lane &~2 car lengths in the lane to the right of that/2nd right-side lane(both starting from the end of the cab)
3 Helpful Tips for Avoiding Truck No Zones
Staying out of an 18-wheeler’s blind spots can help you avoid extra risks on the roads. Use these tips to avoid the no zones:
- Look out for a truck’s side mirrors: If you can’t see the truck driver in the semi’s side mirrors, (s)he can’t see you. Use this rule of thumb to gauge whether you’re in a blind spot and, if so, try to safely move out of it as soon as you can.
- Be extra careful when passing tractor trailers: As you pass trucks, you can naturally enter their no zones. If you do, try to move through these blind spots quickly and carefully. Don’t linger in these areas if you can avoid it.
- Watch the blinkers: When tractor trailers turn, the vehicles in their blind spots can be at risk of collision. Plus, a turning truck will naturally have moving blind spots, shifting the risks to other motorists. Staying alert to the blinkers, movements, and turns of trucks can help you respond promptly and appropriately to avoid these shifting danger zones.
When Blind Spot Truck Accidents Happen
As careful as you may be on the roads, you can’t control every factor. Sometimes, that can lead to blind spot truck accidents. When it does, a truck accident lawyer can provide the answers, counsel, and guidance you need to pursue the financial recovery you may deserve.