One common cause of big rig crashes is another vehicle driving in the blind spot of a truck driver. Aptly named, blind spots leave drivers essentially “blinded” to having another vehicle next to them. Of course, this makes the safe operation of an 18-wheeler even more challenging. To avoid being involved in an I-45 tractor trailer accident, drivers of passenger vehicles must know the exact location of these blind spots and how to avoid them. Decreasing I-45 trucking accidents is an effort every driver must make to stay safe on the highways.
Know the “No Zones”
I-45 trucking crash attorneys suggest the best way to prevent driving in a truck’s blind spots – or No Zones – is to know where they are. Following are the four blind spot areas for big rig drivers:
- Front – This is the area directly in front of a truck, extending forward at least two car lengths. Anything directly in front of a big rig is invisible to the driver, as they sit high, behind the truck’s large engine.
- Rear – This is the area directly behind a truck, extending back about half the length of the entire tractor trailer itself. Generally, if a truck driver’s face cannot be seen in their side view mirror, the vehicle following is too close. When in doubt, leave more space.
- Left Side – This space is to the left of the driver’s door, diagonally back about a car length.
- Right Side – This is the largest blind spot, extending from the passenger side truck door and diagonally rearward for nearly the length of the vehicle, across two traffic lanes.
Safely Passing A Big Rig
All passing on multiple lane highways is legally required to be on the left, which in the case of big rigs is because their blind spot is much smaller on the left than on the right. Safe passing requires early signaling, and driving far enough back that a truck driver can see the signal, alerting them to the fact the vehicle is going to pass them. When there is safe distance to pass, it must be done completely, without lingering in the driver’s blind spot due to traffic. A passing vehicle should also drive far enough ahead to clear the front blind spot before signaling again, and merging back into the original lane. I-45 trucking crash attorneys say that to avoid big rig crashes, always signal with enough time for other drivers to see it, especially truck drivers, and never cut quickly in front of a truck after passing.
Avoiding Blind Spots
I-45 trucking crash attorneys assert there are other ways to stay clear of a truck’s blind spots.
- Never tailgate.
- Allow a three-second following distance.
- Never cut in front of a big rig when merging; enter the lane with enough distance so the driver can see your vehicle.
- Be aware of a truck’s signal to change lanes, especially when changing lanes to the right, since the right side blind spot is so large.
- Pay attention to truck movement across the road; help drivers by anticipating their moves and stay clear of the No Zones.
When sharing the roads with commercial vehicles, other drivers must avoid traveling in their blind spots to help prevent big rig crashes and tractor trailer accidents. By remembering how difficult it is for large truck drivers to see smaller vehicles, the driving environment on our nation’s major roadway systems can be safer for every driver. Through better awareness and better driving habits, it’s possible to reduce the number of devastating I-45 trucking accidents that occur each year – and give us all highways that are safer to travel!
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