Many drivers don’t like driving alongside commercial trucks but it is part of everyday travel. Understanding where a trucker's blind spots are and how to stay out of them can increase your confidence on the highways and reduce your risk of accidents and serious injuries.
Follow these tips:
1. Know where a truck’s blind spots are.
· Directly behind the truck.
· Each side of the truck (can span for several lanes).
· In front of the truck (encompasses the lane the truck is in and one lane to the right).
· Beside the truck's right door.
2. Do not follow a truck too closely. By staying close behind a truck, you'll be in the truck's rear blind spot, and if the driver isn't aware of this and makes a sudden stop or maneuver, you're at risk of rear-ending into the truck. The best distance is about 20 to 25 car lengths behind a truck. This is also known as maintaining a four second following distance. In poor weather conditions, this gap should be even longer.
3. Keep both (left and right) truck mirrors in your sights as much as possible when traveling behind a truck. If you can see the driver's face in his mirrors, then it's likely that he can see you. The moment that you cannot see the driver's face in the truck's side mirrors, he can't see you any longer.
4. Pass or overtake a truck with care. Do not pass or overtake a truck on the right hand side. This is because a truck's blind spot on the right runs down the length of the trailer and extends out three lanes!
5. Do not drive along a truck's right-hand side when the truck is turning right. A truck needs a wide berth in order to clear the turn, requiring additional lanes. When turning, the driver cannot see any vehicles on his right. This is also important for motorcyclists and bicyclists; do not attempt to slip past on the right while a truck is turning or is stopped at an intersection.
If you have been in an accident with a commercial truck, contact us for a free one-hour consultation.