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Tips on Avoiding a Truck’s Blind Spots 

May 21, 2024

Like all vehicles, trucks are responsible for navigating the roadways safely. One component of that is ensuring that changing lanes is done safely. Blind spots are areas where vision can be hard to pinpoint and even very limited for the truck driver while on the road. These are often causes of accidents. Learning how to avoid a truck’s blind spots is critical to keeping yourself safe on the road. A Charleston, WV, truck accident lawyer from Salango Law can assist with your case.

Where Are a Truck’s Blind Spots?

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a truck has “no zones” or specific areas where the driver cannot see well. This includes:

  • Around the very front of the vehicle
  • Around the very back of the vehicle
  • The sides of the vehicle

Specifically, the right side of the truck is the biggest blind spot (you should never drive in this position very long). The upper left side of the truck is another big blind spot, and you do not want to be in this area for very long, either.

If, while driving next to or near the truck, you cannot see the truck driver in their mirror, chances are good they cannot see you.

How to Avoid the Truck’s Blind Spots

Knowing where blind spots are is the first step. The next step is to consider these strategies that can reduce the risk of being in an accident with a truck.

  • Do not tailgate a truck. They cannot see you. If the truck tries to stop fast, you will fly under the back of the truck in a life-threatening collision. Trucks cannot stop fast.
  • Pass trucks when possible. Pass a large truck quickly rather than staying on either side of it for too long. This helps to minimize the risk that you will be in the blind spot for too long.
  • Don’t cut off trucks. Another big factor is not cutting in front of a truck too closely. While you certainly can pass them, make sure there’s ample room between you and the truck before doing so. Remember, they cannot stop fast.
  • Let them over. If a truck driver puts on their turn signal to indicate they need to switch lanes, slow down and drop back. Allow them to move in front of you whenever possible. Give them ample room to merge into the lane with you.
  • Be careful merging. If you are getting onto a freeway and a truck is present, merge slowly and stay behind them. Chances are good they cannot easily see you and, as a result, cannot help you merge in easily.

Remember, the most important strategy for staying safe on the road with trucks is being aware of your surroundings. Avoid trying to be aggressive with trucks, pass them safely, and always anticipate a wide turn (they need to do so, after all). Doing this helps to minimize the risk that you could play a role in causing a life-threatening injury to yourself, the truck driver, or even other drivers on the road.