Driving around large commercial vehicles presents a variety of risks and hazards. These vehicles can weigh up to 26,000 pounds and a collision with one can be fatal. Blind spot-related collisions are one of the most common causes of accidents with commercial vehicles. Being aware of the blind spots in a commercial truck and knowing the proper ways to drive around them can help you avoid a serious accident.
Blind Spot Basics
Commercial trucks have blind spots around all four sizes that are much larger than that of a normal sized automobile. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, these blind spots are approximately 20 feet in front of the truck and 30 feet behind it, as well as one lane beside the vehicle, under the cab mirror on the left and up to two lanes beside and extending out under the right cab mirror.
If you cannot see the truck driver’s reflection in the side mirror, you are likely in their blind spot.
Blind Spot Safety
It’s important to take extra care while driving near commercial trucks, especially in regard to their blind spots. A car of any size can easily get lost in one of these spots, increasing the risk of a collision. However, there are several safe-driving practices you can exercise to avoid one of these accidents including:
- Taking extra care when passing or being passed
- Staying out of blind spots, especially when the truck is turning or changing lanes
- Keeping a longer following distance
Keeping the truck’s blind spots in mind and giving them the space they need while driving can help keep you and your loved ones safe while on the roads.