Semi-trucks: Do You Know the “No Zones”?
Due to their sheer size and weight, semi-trucks are undisputedly the kings of the road. These large trucks tower over other types of vehicles. Because truck drivers sit so high above other motorists, many people assume they have a bird’s eye view of the highway and everyone around them.
In reality, semi-truck operators have limited visibility. Because tractor-trailers are so big, it’s impossible for a truck’s driver to see every area around his or her rig.
In fact, 18-wheelers have four large blind spots, which are sometimes referred to as “no zones” because it is unsafe to remain in them if you’re driving near a semi. Knowing about these no zones can help you avoid them.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you need an experienced Boca Raton truck accident lawyer on your case right away.
The Front No Zone
Semis sometimes move slowly, which can be frustrating to other motorists. If you have ever spent miles stuck behind a large truck, you probably know how tempting it is to zip around one when you get the chance.
This is very dangerous, however, because semi-trucks have a front blind spot that can extend up to 20 feet in front of the truck’s cab.
Semi drivers can’t see vehicles in this area, which can be deadly if the semi must stop quickly.
If the truck’s driver can’t see you, he or she might not calculate adequate space between the truck’s grill and the bumper of the car ahead of you. Terrible injuries can occur when passenger vehicles are sandwiched between a semi and another vehicle.
The Rear No Zone
Semi-trucks also have a large blind spot immediately behind the truck’s trailer. At up to 200 feet, the rear no zone is quite large. Motorists who follow trucks too closely do so at their own peril, as the truck’s driver may not even know there is a vehicle that close to the trailer.
If the truck stops quickly, there is a risk of underride, which occurs when a car slides under the truck’s trailer, usually sheering off the top of the car and causing catastrophic injury and death to the car’s passengers.
The Right No Zone
The right no zone is the largest of all the semi-truck blind spots and can extend over three lanes of traffic. This blind spot starts at roughly the truck’s passenger side truck door and spreads outward to cover the lanes next to the truck’s trailer.
This is why passing a semi on the right is extremely dangerous, since the truck’s driver is unlikely to know you’re there until it’s too late.
The Left No Zone
The left side blind spot is the smallest, but it is still dangerous to drive in it. If you can’t see the truck operator’s side mirrors, he or she probably can’t see you, either.
Tips for Sharing the Road with Semis
Florida is home to some of the most dangerous highways in the country. The Florida Highway Patrol is taking steps to lower the number of highway crashes by educating motorists about tractor-trailer no zones.
In 2016, Florida’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers hosted several “No Zone – Share the Road” events around the state, where they used a stationary full-size tractor-trailer to show motorists just how far a truck’s no zones extend.
Whether you’re a regular highway commuter, or just an occasional interstate driver, here are several ways to stay safer when you’re sharing the road with semis:
- Always pass any vehicle on the left, but take extra care to always pass tractor-trailers on the left side only.
- After you travel past a semi-truck, don’t move in front of it until you can see the entire semi in your own rearview mirror.
- Don’t linger in a semi-truck’s blind spots.
- If you are behind a semi-truck and you can’t see its side mirrors, you are probably following too closely.
Get in Touch with a Boca Raton Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have been involved in a truck accident crash, don’t hesitate to contact a Boca Raton truck accident lawyer. Call today to schedule a consultation in your case.