Morgan Gaynor | July 9, 2021 | Truck Accidents
The four blind spots on an 18-wheeler are located on each side of the truck and in the rear and front of the truck. The blind spots are referred to as “no zones” because motorists should not drive in a tractor-trailer’s blind spots. The truck driver cannot see vehicles within the truck’s blind spots.
It is easy for a car, pedestrian, motorcycle, or bicyclist to be caught in an 18-wheeler’s blind spots and suffer an accident. Truck blind spot accidents can result in catastrophic injuries. Knowing exactly where a big rig’s blind spots are located can help you avoid a blind spot accident.
Where are a Truck’s Blind Spots Located?
The FMCSA provides a diagram on its website showing where each of the four blind spots is located on an 18-wheeler:
Front Blind Spot on an 18-Wheeler
A blind spot extends about 20 feet from the front bumper of a tractor-trailer. The blind spot extends the entire length of the rig.
When passing a large truck, make sure that you have more than 20 feet between your vehicle and the truck’s front bumper before merging in front of the truck. Also, indicate your intention to merge by turning on your turn signal as soon as you pass the truck driver’s door.
Rear Blind Spot on an 18-Wheeler
A blind spot extends about 30 feet from the trailer’s rear bumper. The blind spot crosses the entire width of the tractor and trailer.
When following a large truck, a good rule to remember is that the truck driver cannot see you if you cannot see the truck’s side mirrors. However, it is wise to leave extra distance to ensure the truck driver can see that you are following the truck or that your vehicle is sitting directly behind a parked or stopped 18-wheeler.
Left Side Blind Spot on an 18-Wheeler
The left side or driver side blind spot extends about three-fourths of the way from the driver’s seat down the side of the trailer. The blind spot covers at least one lane of traffic on the left side of the truck. If your vehicle is in this blind spot, a truck driver may not see you when he decides to change lanes or make a left-hand turn.
Right Side Blind Spot on an 18-Wheeler
The truck’s blind spot on the right side or passenger side is the most significant blind spot on an 18-wheeler. The blind spot covers at least two lanes of traffic on the right side of the truck. It begins at the truck’s front bumper and extends at about twenty feet from the truck’s back bumper.
If your vehicle is in the right-side blind spot, the truck driver cannot see you when he decides to turn right, merge into another lane, or exit the interstate.
Avoid Driving in an 18-Wheeler’s Blind Spots
Truck drivers should always check for vehicles in their blind spots before making a maneuver. However, there could be sections of the blind spot that the truck driver cannot see even if they try.
Therefore, drivers must avoid driving in a tractor-trailer’s blind spot whenever possible. Tips for avoiding blind spot accidents include:
- Pass a large truck on the left side or driver-side whenever possible
- Signal your intent to merge in front of a large truck and allow plenty of room
- Do not cut off a large truck or slam on the brakes after merging in front of a truck
- Do not tailgate behind a large truck, and always make sure you can see the truck’s side mirrors when following a commercial truck
- Pass the truck as quickly as possible to avoid spending time in the blind spot
Large truck accidents are much more dangerous for passengers of other vehicles. People in other vehicles sustain most of the fatalities and injuries caused by truck accidents. Taking steps to avoid a large truck accident is in everyone’s best interest.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim for an 18-Wheeler Accident
A truck accident can cause traumatic injuries, wrongful deaths, and permanent impairments. The damages caused by a large truck accident can be extensive. In addition to significant pain and suffering and permanent disabilities, a victim may incur substantial economic damages.
Filing a large truck accident claim can be complicated. Truck accident cases require a knowledge of federal trucking regulations and how government entities are involved in truck crash cases.
Insurance companies and trucking companies aggressively fight injury claims to avoid paying large settlements and jury verdicts. Therefore, it is beneficial to have an experienced truck accident lawyer investigate the truck accident, gather evidence, and deal with the at-fault parties.