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Side view of a semi truck on the road during sunset

Staying Visible Around Trucks on the Road

It isn’t always evident to motorists the risks they take when driving in close proximity to a truck. The larger the truck, the more hazardous it can be if you don’t take proper precautions. Motorists are familiar with the blind spots in their vehicles. What they may not realize is that the blind spots truckers are dealing with are much larger and in the front and back of their trucks, as well as the sides.

No-Zones for Trucks

More accidents take place in the no-zones of trucks due to drivers being unaware. Trucks and buses have four no-zones. These areas are in the front of the truck, the back and on either side. The right side no zone is the largest area. Trucks need to make wide right turns, and vehicles caught in this area during a turn are subject to getting crunched. If you see a truck indicating a right turn, be sure to allow plenty of space so you don’t get between the truck and the curb.

The back of the truck is another no-zone that sees frequent accidents for both drivers and pedestrians. Trucks don’t have inside rearview mirrors, like a car, and you can’t depend on them having cameras that show the driver what’s happening in the back. If a truck is backing up, steer clear, because the driver cannot see you.

Tailgating is always a bad idea, especially where trucks are concerned. You have no place to go if you are traveling too close to the rear of a truck when the brakes are applied suddenly. Be aware the truck driver has no indication that there is anyone close behind.

The front of the truck is also dangerous. Be sure to leave plenty of room between you and the truck you pass. Fully-loaded trucks need about 512 feet to come to a full stop at 55 mph. Don’t take chances by cutting in front of a truck. Don’t move into the trucker’s lane until you can fully see the cab in your rearview mirror.

Limited Maneuverability

Whereas cars have relatively good maneuverability in most circumstances, it’s fairly obvious that trucks are considerably more unwieldy. They have larger blind spots than most vehicles, and the stopping distances are much longer. A car may swerve out of the way to avoid something in the road; the same maneuver with a truck could cause it to jackknife.

The additional length of trucks, along with their size, makes them less agile in handling. It’s important to be aware of no-zones when on the road around trucks. It’s just as important to be careful when in parking lots, work zones, truck stops, and service stations.

Truck drivers can only do so much to keep the roads safe. It’s up to everyone to do their part in creating safer highways. Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A., specializes in personal injury law. When an accident has left you or a loved one with injuries, and you believe you are due compensation, contact us for a free initial consultation. We serve residents of southwest Florida, in and around Englewood, North Port, and Port Charlotte, where our offices are located.

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