On most roads in Georgia, it is common to find yourself next to, or behind, a tractor trailer. For many people, these moments can be scary because they don’t know if the truck driver can see them or not. It is important to know how to co-exist with tractor trailers on the road. Commercial truck drivers have limited visibility in what are called “No Zones”, or large blind spots. If you don’t know how to properly avoid these blind spots, you and your passengers can be at risk for a serious, possibly fatal accident.
According to the FMCSA, approximately 72% of accidents that occur with a tractor trailer results in injury for the driver and/or passengers of the non-commercial truck. About 80% of these accidents are at the fault of the truck driver.
To help you stay safe on the road, remember these blindspot safety tips:
- It is important to give trucks plenty of room to pass, change lanes and/or turn. Avoid driving on the side of the truck. When you must be next to the truck, pass quickly and use your signals early to alert the driver before you pass.
- Never pass a truck on the right side. This is the most dangerous spot because the blindspot extends further back and the driver can’t see you.
- If you can’t see the driver’s side mirror, they can’t see you either. This is a clear indication that you are in a blind spot and should seek to move from that position safely.
- When in front of a tractor trailer, it is critical to leave plenty of space between you and the truck. Remembering that commercial vehicles cannot maneuver and react as quickly as you can. When you can see the truck’s headlights in your rear-view mirror, you have reached a safe proximity from the truck’s frontal blind spot.
- Did you know trucks don’t have rear view mirrors? Truck drivers have to rely on their side mirrors to know what is happening around them. When you are driving behind a truck, it is wise to leave about 20-25 car lengths (about a 4 second count) between you and to try to be sure to have his/her side mirrors visible at all times.
- For a truck to safely turn, it can be necessary to go into another lane in order to make a wide turn. If you are besides or behind a truck that is making a wide turn, be cautious and patient. Never cut between the truck and the curb while a truck is making a wide right turn.
Kaufman Law has extensive experience in helping victims of tractor trailer accidents. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a tractor trailer collision, call us today for a free consultation.