Most drivers know that it is not a good idea to stay too close to large trucks on roadways. However, avoiding trucks is not always an option. Being aware of where truck blind spots are and how to maneuver around them safely may help you avoid dangerous situations.
Due to their size, trucks have large blind spots from where the driver may have little to no visibility. These are known as no zones, and they are located on all four sides of a truck. The four major no zones are:
Left side no zone
This no zone starts from the driver’s door, extends approximately around the midsection of the truck and expands outward about the width of one traffic lane.
Because this is where the driver is seated, it gives them some visibility in comparison to the other zones. However, you should still avoid this area whenever possible, and if you must pass, do so quickly. Make sure you can see the driver through their side mirror and signal before moving.
Right side no zone
The right side has the largest blind spot because it is opposite the driver. If necessary, other drivers should pass on the left side of the truck instead of the right. This no-go zone extends from the front of the vehicle to the back and spans at least two traffic lanes.
Front no zone
The blind spot directly in front of the truck’s hood creates the smallest blind spot, spanning about 20 feet. Cutting in front of a slow truck might seem like a good idea, but it can easily end in disaster.
Given that trucks take a longer time to stop, occupying this blind spot puts you at risk. If you must get in front of a truck, do it steadily and safely so that the driver has time to notice you.
Rear no zone
The truck driver has absolutely no visibility in the rear, making it the deadliest blind spot. Truck drivers must rely on their side mirrors to figure out what is going on in this area, but because all other sides are competing for their attention, they may not notice anything at all.
The rear no zone extends about 30 feet from the back of the truck. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), if the truck’s side view mirrors are not visible to you, it is very likely that the driver cannot see you either. Following too closely behind a truck, or tailgating could result in catastrophe.
Driving around trucks safely
Everyone behind the wheel must pay attention on the road. However, because truck accidents can result in terrible casualties, you should pay extra attention to traffic regulations when driving near one or avoid a truck’s no zones at all costs.