There are several ways you can avoid a collision with a truck. You can give them space, pay attention and practice safe passing. You can wear your seatbelt and obey the speed limit, all in an effort to protect yourself.
However, these precautions can be ineffective if a truck driver cannot see you.
Where are a truck’s blind spots?
Blind spots are areas that we cannot see in our side or rear-view mirrors. In a regular car, these blind spots are often slightly behind the vehicle on either side of it. If someone is driving, cycling, or walking there, we generally cannot see them without turning our heads.
However, even if a trucker turns their head, their vehicles are so large that they still may not be able to see another vehicle unless they stick their heads out the window.
And a big rig has blind spots on all four sides. These spots are right ahead of the truck, right behind it, and on either side of the cab. These blind spots are large. In fact, a trucker may not be able to see traffic as far away as two lanes to their right.
Make sure truckers can see you
You can make it easy for truckers to see you as a driver by staying out of these blind spots.
If this is unavoidable, be aware that the trucker likely cannot see you. If the lanes are about to merge or other changes may require the trucker to move over, anticipate this and be ready to honk your horn or switch lanes yourself.
Truckers must also take steps to avoid accidents with cars or people in their blind spots. They should be using their mirrors and staying alert. Further, blind-spot warning systems can alert drivers with audible or visual cues that something is in their blind spot.
More to poor visibility than blind spots
Yes, blind spots make it difficult for truckers to see others around them. However, they can also fail to see people if they are impaired or distracted.
Thus, to avoid a catastrophic truck crash caused by poor visibility, stay alert, practice defensive driving around trucks, and steer clear of their blind spots.