Every year, there are thousands of accidents involving semi-trucks. Unfortunately, many of these accidents are caused by semi-truck blind spots. According to a study published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 68% of fatalities caused by large trucks between 2004 and 2013 occurred in the vehicle’s front half.
It is essential to know that most semi-trucks have large blind spots on the sides and rear of the vehicle. As a result, it becomes dangerous for smaller vehicles to drive near commercial trucks. Therefore, when changing lanes, merging, or making a turn, truck drivers should always be aware that they may encounter other vehicles and ensure there is nobody that can be jeopardized.
What Areas of the Semi Truck are Vulnerable to Blind Spots?
- The first blind spot is directly in front of the truck, about 20 feet. It is the most dangerous blind spot because it’s where most accidents happen.
- The second blind spot is on the left side of the truck, extending out about 30 feet.
- The third blind spot is on the truck’s right side, extending out about 30 feet.
- The fourth and final blind spot is directly behind the truck, about 50-100 feet. Due to its larger distance, this is considered the least dangerous blind spot.
What are the Solutions for Avoiding Semi Truck Blind Spots Dangers?
- Drivers of smaller vehicles need to be mindful of the blind spots on a semi-truck and avoid driving near them whenever possible. If you must drive in a semi truck’s blind spots, be sure to use your turn signal and be aware of the truck’s movements at all times.
- Semi-truck drivers are well aware of their blind spots on a semi-truck. These areas around the truck where the driver can’t see are a potential hazard for small vehicles. To avoid accidents, drivers must be constantly aware of their surroundings and take measures to stay out of the truck’s blind spots.
- It is extremely dangerous to cut off a commercial vehicle. If a driver of a smaller vehicle moves in too quickly, he will most likely be in a blind spot. Even if you are visible to a semi-truck driver, he may not be able to slow down quickly enough to avoid a crash because of the longer time it takes to stop a commercial vehicle.
- Tailgating is especially dangerous as it puts you in a blind spot as well. Commercial vehicle drivers should always be aware of their surroundings when driving. They should not hit the brakes to encourage other drivers to move away from the back of their semi-trailer.
- Passing a semi-truck from the left side is usually better than passing one from the right side because the blind spot on the left side is much shorter than on the truck’s right side.
- Avoid driving on the right side of a commercial vehicle whenever possible. Not in any condition, pass a semi-truck on the right side when it turns. Large trucks have a large turning radius, which can overtake your vehicle without the semi-truck driver knowing what is happening.
- Truck drivers should always remain focused and constantly check their blind spots, particularly before changing lanes.
- You should never drive when fatigued, impaired, distracted, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Driving inside a semi truck’s blind spot can be a terrifying experience. When you have a driver on your left and right, it can be difficult to distinguish which one is trying to pass you. Even worse, drivers in the left lane often try to pass drivers in the right lane by driving inside their blind spot. Unfortunately, this puts other drivers at risk of getting cut off or sideswiped.
Be aware of your surroundings, stay focused to not get into a trucking accident, and avoid any personal injury!