If driving in the vicinity of trucks, staying visible is crucial to your safety. These large and unwieldy vehicles could kill or seriously injure you if a collision occurs.
All vehicles have blind spots. These are points where the driver cannot see other vehicles. If you drive a car, you will notice a point where a passing car disappears from view somewhere between losing it in your rearview mirror and it appearing again in your wing mirror. It applies to both sides.
If you look out the front of your vehicle, you cannot see anything close to you and less tall than you. For instance, if a dog were to cross the road a meter in front, you probably could not see it, but you could see an adult because they are taller.
Imagine you could not use your rearview mirror and only see what is behind you through your wing mirrors. Think about the gap in the vision you will have directly behind you for a meter or so.
You may have noticed these blind spots when another vehicle or cyclist appears to have come from nowhere. They did not. They were just in your blind spot.
Trucks have far larger blind spots than cars
If you think your blind spots are a safety risk, those of trucks are much more so because of how far they extend:
- In front: It stretches for 20 feet or more because the cab is so high off the ground.
- Behind: It can be 30 feet or more, and the longer the rig, the further back the blind spot extends.
- Driver’s side: One lane for about half the length of the truck.
- Passenger’s side: Two lanes stretching beyond the rear of the last trailer.
While you can increase your safety by avoiding these danger zones, it is a truck driver’s responsibility if they make a maneuver that causes a collision. If a truck injures you, seek help to understand your options.