Avoiding a Truck Drivers Blind Spots

by Christopher Hoffmann on Jan. 30, 2014

Accident & Injury Car Accident Accident & Injury  Personal Injury Accident & Injury 

Summary: It is important for drivers of passenger vehicles to be aware of the blind spots of truck drivers. Avoiding these areas can prevent a catastrophic collision.

The length and width of an 18 wheeler, plus their lack of a rear view mirror, gives their drivers a very limited view of the road around them.  Many passenger vehicles drivers believe that since the driver is seated higher than they, they are afforded better visibility.  This is a false.  For this reason, truck drivers know they must take extra precaution when sharing the road with smaller cars especially when turning or changing lanes.  If you were hurt by a tractor trailer who failed to notice you before maneuvering, contact an auto accident attorney

There are a few precautions you should take in order to keep yourself and family safe from harm by a truck accident.  It is important to know where the blind spots are for a truck driver and keep your vehicle out of them.  A truck driver is unable to see anything directly in front or behind him, nor anyone traveling directly next to either door of his cab.  A good general rule of thumb when riding alongside a tractor is that if you cannot see the eyes of the driver in his side view mirror, then he cannot see you.

While you should never tailgate any vehicle, this is especially important with large trucks.  You should always maintain at least a 4 second stopping distance.  This will keep you out of the driver’s blind spot and also give you enough time to react if the truck suddenly starts to stop. 

If you must overtake a truck, make sure you have plenty of time and space to do it.  It will take approximately 30 seconds to make it past the length of an 18-wheeler.  Signal your intention as early as possible and make sure you have plenty of time for the maneuver.  If not, fall back quickly.  Always pass on the left and do not linger while alongside the truck.  When pulling in front of the semi, make sure you are well in front of him and completely out of his blind spot.  You should be able to tell that he can see you if the entire cab is visible in your rear view mirror.  Do not decelerate until you are at least ten car lengths in front of the truck.

An important thing to remember when driving behind a large truck is that they are creating turbulence as they move down the highway.  As you pull out from behind one, your smaller vehicle could be affected by this.

Always use your horn to alert a truck if they are suddenly maneuvering into your path.  If you can, move over into the next lane or onto the shoulder as quickly as possible.  A million dollar settlement was reached for a Missouri man that was side-swiped by a tractor trailer trying to change lanes.  While he may be hindered by blind spots, a truck driver still has a responsibility to ensure that the lane is clear before maneuvering into it.

St. Louis Car Accident Lawyers

Contact a Missouri car accident attorney today if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a large commercial truck.  Due to the devastation an 18-wheeler can cause, they are held to a higher standard of driving safely.

Call (314) 361-4242 to schedule a free consultation.

More resources:

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