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What is a Truck’s No-Zone?

Posted in Truck Accidents on December 24, 2019

When you are driving, you should do everything you can to stay safe. This includes understanding that large trucks have large blind spots. These are called “no-zones” that should be avoided if at all possible. Driving around larger trucks on the roadways can be intimidating. Crashes involving these large vehicles can lead to serious injuries. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a fully loaded eighteen-wheeler can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. When considering that the average passenger vehicle weighs just 4,000 pounds, we can see why understanding no-zones is important.

Where are a truck’s blind spots?

All vehicles have blind spots. The larger the vehicle, the larger these bling spots become. According to the FMCSA, a large truck has a total of four blind spots. These are referred to as the “no-zones.” These no-zones include:

  • Directly in front of the truck for approximately 20 feet
  • Directly behind the truck for approximately 200 feet
  • Directly along both sides of the truck (the right-side blind spot is larger than the left side)

What can happen in a truck’s no-zones?

When you enter into a truck’s blind spots, the truck driver cannot see you. You are at risk of being involved in a serious truck accident. These incidents could cause:

  • A truck driver to rear-end a vehicle that is directly in front of a truck. Due to the enormous weight of a truck, this can be a devastating accident.
  • Lane changes right into a vehicle. This increases the risk of running a passenger vehicle off the roadway. It can also cause dangerous underride accidents. These occur when a vehicle gets caught in the truck’s undercarriage, shearing off the top portion of the vehicle.
  • A passenger vehicle to rear-end a truck if the truck driver has to stop suddenly. This could also lead to dangerous and high-speed undercarriage incident.

How can you avoid a truck’s no-zones?

The best way to avoid crashes with large trucks is understanding that the no-zones are to be avoided if at all possible. According to the FMCSA, there were around 148,000 people injured and 4,716 people killed in incidents involving large truck crashes during the latest reporting year in the US. These incidents often lead to severe injuries, including:

  • Traumatic brain injuries/head injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries/paralysis
  • Internal organ damage/internal bleeding
  • Broken or dislocated bones
  • Severe lacerations or amputations

There are several preventative measures that drivers can take to avoid a truck’s no-zones. This includes:

  • Not driving along the sides of a truck. If you need to pass a truck, you should make sure you have a clear path to do so. Do not linger beside a truck for too long. Before passing a truck, make sure they have not signaled for a lane change.
  • Keep a close eye on a truck’s turn signals and brake lights. This will let you know when they are changing lanes and when they are slowing down. Never follow a large truck too closely, or you risk a serious accident.
  • Make sure you are visible in a trucker’s mirrors. If you cannot see the truck driver in their own mirror, then the truck driver cannot see your vehicle.
  • Be patient when driving around large trucks, especially in an urban environment. These vehicles need more time to speed up, slow down, and take turns.