Blind Spots on a Truck and 3 Dangers They Present [Infographic]
One of the very first things you learn during CDL training is where your blind spots are located. While all vehicles have blind spots, the ones on a semi truck are much larger than those on your typical 4-wheel passenger vehicle. Unfortunately, many motorists are unaware of where these spots on semis are located and as a result, engage in dangerous driving practices near big trucks. Today, I’m going to reiterate where these blind spots are and discuss some common dangerous behaviors 4-wheelers do that they might not be aware of.
Semi trucks have four large blind spots. They’re located in front of the truck’s engine, directly behind the trailer, along the left side of the trailer near the driver’s door, and along most of the length of the right side of the trailer, extending several lanes out.
Common Driving Mistakes Cars Make
Traveling next to the trailer. This is one many motorists are guilty of without realizing. One thing everyone needs to be conscious of is where they are in relation to the truck and if the trucker can see them. Many passenger cars will travel along next to a semi truck for extended amounts of time all the while being in the driver’s blind spot. As you can imagine, this can pose problems when the truck driver needs to change lanes. Save yourself a potential accident by being conscious of where you are — if you’re in any of the 4 truck blind spots, speed up and get away from the truck or slow down and hold back at a distance where the driver can see you.
Cutting in front of a truck. This is something truck drivers have to deal with 100s of times a day — people don’t want to get stuck behind a slow truck, so they cut right in front of the driver. Not only is this dangerous simply because you could get rear ended, but you’ll also be in the front blind spot of the truck if you cut it too close.
Turning right next to a semi. Many times when trucks are turning right, they’ll kind of straddle the lane lines prior to making the turn. This is because the back wheels on a truck follow a shorter distance than the front wheels, so the driver must “swing wide” in order to get the whole tractor-trailer around the turn without hitting anything. When a driver doesn’t get all the way over in the right lane to turn, some passenger vehicles will take this as an invitation to scoot up next to them so they can turn at the same time and get out of the way. Only, this is a bad idea. Remember how I said the rear tires follow a shorter path? This means that if a truck and a car are both turning right next to each other, the semi trailer will most likely scrape the side of the car as it turns and cuts into the right lane. Prevent this by hanging back and allowing a truck to make its right turn before you make yours. Patience!
Learn more tips for sharing the road with semi trucks and check out the infographic here! Awareness is the first step in ensuring trucks and cars can safely share the road.