Semi-trucks are huge, cumbersome vehicles, and many drivers don’t realize that a large truck’s blind spots are enormous compared to those on a smaller vehicle. These areas of zero-visibility are so problematic that we call them the “No-Zone.” But what exactly is a truck’s no-zone, and how can you stay out of it? Let’s find out.
The average semi-truck hauling a trailer is about 13ft tall and 70ft long. Because the driver’s seat is so high off the ground and the truck’s front is so long, most truckers cannot see the first 20ft in front of their vehicle.
At the same time, a truck driver doesn’t have a rear-view mirror and must rely on side-view mirrors to examine their surroundings and determine when it is safe to change lanes. The mirrors are oriented to see a few hundred feet down the road, rather than to the driver’s immediate sides.
All this means cars driving alongside a truck’s trailer are outside of the mirror’s view, and the trucker is often too high off the ground to see someone directly under them.
Where Is the No-Zone
This chart illustrates the no-zone around a typical semi-truck. Notice that the driver can’t see 20ft ahead of their cab OR 30ft behind their trailer. Additionally, because the passenger-side mirror is convex (like a bubble), it distorts the image and prevents the driver from seeing across two lanes on their right side.
So, next time you’re driving behind a large truck, remember this phrase, “If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you.” In practice, that means providing a few extra car lengths before pulling out behind a truck and adding a few more when merging back into their lane. It may seem simple, but it’s the best way to make sure truck drivers can see you and help prevent a serious crash.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a car crash, we can help. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with an experienced auto injury attorney from Dunk Law Firm, please don’t hesitate to call (800) 674-9339 or send us an email.