Avoiding Semi Truck Blind Spots

Avoiding Semi Truck Blind Spots

Although California is known for its car-free and eco-friendly ways, plenty of us still hit the roads in our vehicles. This brings us up-close with semi-trucks that weigh 10,000-plus pounds and travel at breakneck speeds.

One of the best ways you can avoid being in a collision with one of these big rigs is by knowing and avoiding their blind spots. So how about a little refresher on semi-truck blind spots and how you can stay away from them?

Familiarize Yourself With Truckers’ Blind Spots

A semi-truck has much larger blind spots than a passenger car. First of all, they have a blind spot right in front of their front bumper that extends up to 20 car lengths in front of them. Why so large? Because a trucker sits high off the ground to gain visibility up ahead while losing visibility up close.

The entire right side of their vehicle is also a blind spot or near-blind spot. The trucker sits on the left, making the area to the rear-right of their vehicle very difficult to see.

On their left side, the area just to the rear of the truck driver is a blind spot along about 50% of their truck. If you’re riding up right alongside them in this area, they probably can’t see you.

Finally, the area just to the rear of the truck for at least 5 car lengths is almost impossible to see. That means someone in a compact car that’s tailgating the truck is invisible to the trucker, putting both vehicles at risk of a collision.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration offers four important safety tips for passenger vehicle drivers to avoid colliding with truckers due to blind spots:

  • Remember, trucks have large blind spots around all four sides.
  • Be extra careful when passing trucks or when they pass you.
  • Blind spots are also dangerous when a trucker is turning, backing up, or changing lanes.
  • If you can’t see the driver in their side mirror, the driver can’t see you in your car.

Drive Carefully With Blind Spots in Mind

Another important thing to keep in mind is that your own vehicle has blind spots too. So when you add a trucker’s blind spots to your own, you have a situation with a significant risk of a collision. For example, riding too close to the side of a truck could cause a semi-truck underride accident because the trucker tries to change lanes right on top of you.

Think defensively and imagine whether truckers and other vehicles’ drivers around you can truly see what’s happening around them. Don’t change lanes directly into a blind spot and always give extra traveling space to any large vehicle near you, like a semi-truck.

If you’re a motorcyclist or scooter rider, pay extra attention to whether or not truckers can see you. Compared to their vehicle, you’re a tiny presence on the road and it’s easy for them to miss seeing you and create a life-threatening collision.

Generally speaking, no matter what type of vehicle you drive, it’s a good idea to just assume that truckers can’t see you. Think of yourself as invisible but vulnerable. Make driving decisions carefully and give truckers extra space so you minimize the chance of a crash.

If the worst happens and you are in an accident with a big rig, a talented truck accident lawyer can be a huge help. At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we will take your concerns seriously and pursue a valuable settlement that allows you to rest and recover from the trauma of a crash with a semi-truck.


Cam M.

"I was involved in a car accident that left me with a broken leg, thanks to someone running a red light! It was my first time being involved in something like this (totaled car, surgery, and 4 days in the hospital). So I started shopping around and came across Sally Morin. Even though the other parties insurance was useless the team here was able to get the full settlement amount... allowing me to completely focus on my physical recovery! A big shout out to Rebecca and Carmen!"

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