Most people have seen the “Caution: Wide Turn” and “If you can’t see my side view mirrors, I can’t see you” signs on the back of any large truck, but what are those signs really warning against? Because of the length of the truck’s trailer, many semi-truck drivers have to deal with large blind spots where they can’t see smaller vehicles around them.
So what is the “no-zone” of a truck, and how do you make sure you aren’t driving where a truck driver can’t see you? An attorney with Stewart & Stewart in Carmel, IN, describes large truck no-zones and how you can stay safe on the road near semi-trucks.
What Is the No-Zone of a Semi Truck?
There are three main areas to avoid when driving near a large truck. Truckers are less likely to see you if you drive:
- Directly behind the truck (drafting)
- At the left rear quarter of the truck
- At the right rear quarter of the truck
Following too closely behind a truck can prevent the trucker from seeing you and can block your view of traffic changes ahead, such as needing to stop for an accident on the highway.
You should also avoid driving too closely to the rear quarter section of a trailer truck. A truck driver may not see you when making lane changes, especially in heavy traffic.
Avoid These Behaviors When Driving Around a Large Truck
Whether you’re attempting to pass, maintain a certain speed, or merge into a lane near a truck, be aware that trucks are often moving fast and need more stopping distance because of their large size and heavy loads. Sudden stops can cause a truck to jackknife or tip over.
Some things to consider for staying safe on the road near a truck include:
- Leaving room for a truck to make a wide turn. Truckers often make wide right turns, which means they pull the cab into the left lane first to avoid clipping the curb on the right with the trailer tires before angling the cab to pull across the lanes into the right lane. Trying to beat a truck through a turn on the inside right lane is dangerous and could cost you your life.
- Adjusting and checking your rearview mirror and side view mirrors. Being aware of your surroundings can help you stay safe on the road. When passing a truck on the left, you want to be able to see the front of the truck in your rearview mirror before merging back in front of the truck.
- Never cutting off a truck before an exit or merge. If your lane ends or your exit’s coming up in half a mile, don’t race ahead to beat the truck to the exit or merge. Maintain a safe speed to merge onto a highway or to get to your exit.
- Taking too long to pass a truck. Truckers sometimes need to adjust by changing lanes. Even when passing on the left as you should, lingering in the lane directly next to the truck can impede their ability to merge for cars stopped on the shoulder or other emergencies. Pass quickly and be considerate of other drivers.
Contact The Law Offices of Stewart & Stewart for Truck Accident Cases in Indiana
Now that you understand what the no-zone of a truck is and how to drive safely near trucks, we hope it will help keep you safe on the roads. If you are injured in a collision with a large truck in Indiana, call us right away at The Law Offices of Stewart & Stewart at 800-33-33-LAW or contact us online for a free consultation about your case.