Driving around large trucks can be daunting, and it is important to stay out of a big truck’s blind spot. However, doing so may not always be easy. West Virginia roads are diverse. We have large highways and small two-lane roads. Here, our Charleston truck accident attorneys discuss how to stay safe from a truck’s blind spot.
What is the blind spot?
Blind spots are the areas around a large vehicle in which the driver of that vehicle cannot see you. It is important to understand that most large trucks on the roadways have blind spots. The US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says that a commercial vehicle has blind spots around all four sides.
The blind spots (No Zones) for a large commercial vehicle include the areas:
- Directly in front of the vehicle
- Directly behind the vehicle
- Directly along either side of the vehicle, especially the right side
How do I avoid the blind spot of a truck?
If you want to stay safe when driving around large trucks on the roadway, keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Stay away from the sides of the truck. The larger the truck, the larger their side blind spots. Large areas to either side of the truck are in their blind spots. If you have to travel through a truck’s blind spots, be cautious and get through as quickly (but safely) as possible.
- Make sure you can see the truck’s mirrors. One of the first rules of driving beside a large vehicle is still the most important – if you cannot see the driver’s reflection in their side mirror, you are in their blind spot, and they cannot see you.
- Watch for the truck’s signals. Truck drivers will use their signals before making lane changes, so watch out for them. If you see their signals turn on, that is not the time to try and pass a truck or drive up alongside them. Also watch for their brake lights. In many cases, you cannot see around a truck, and their signals are the only way you know what is going on ahead.
- Be patient behind slow-moving trucks. Driving behind a slow-moving truck can be frustrating, but remember that these trucks cannot as easily maneuver as a passenger vehicle, and they are probably driving slowly for a reason. Unless it is an emergency, don’t honk at the truck driver and only pass them if it is safe to do so.
What can happen if I’m in the blind spot of a truck?
Accidents with large trucks are often devastating. These vehicles can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, while the average passenger vehicle weighs around 4,000 pounds. Injuries from large truck crashes are usually more serious than regular passenger vehicle crashes. Thousands of people are killed each year in large truck accidents, and many of them revolve around blond spot accidents. Drivers in a truck blind spot could be rear-ended by the truck or could be the victim of an underride accident in which the vehicle’s roof is sheared off by the undercarriage of the truck.
When trucks and cars occupy the same freeways, drivers need to be aware of the truck’s blind spots. Call our truck accident attorneys in West Virginia today at (304) 720-6700.