While driving around Houston, you often see tractor-trailers and perhaps you have even had a few close calls with them. However, there are ways that you can avoid getting into an accident with one.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, one way to avoid a collision is to be aware of a truck's no-zones. These are essentially a truck's blind spots and tractor-trailers have four of them. They are located in the following areas:
- Behind the truck's trailer
- In front of the cab
- On the right of the cab, extending from the front of the trailer to a few feet in front of the cab itself
- On the left side of the cab behind the driver's seat.
These no zones are quite large and if you spend too much time in them, the trucker may not know you are there. To prevent an accident, it is important to be aware of these zones and remain in areas where you can see the truck driver and the trucker can see you.
Large trucks weigh up to 80,000 pounds and have more difficulty slowing down when compared to your much smaller vehicle,. Therefore, you should leave enough distance between your vehicle and large trucks and never tailgate. The Texas DOT recommends leaving about 20 to 25 vehicle lengths between your vehicle and a large truck so that you will have enough visibility and time to respond in an emergency.
You should also remember to never cut off a tractor-trailer. Before attempting to pass a semi truck, make sure that there will be no less than four vehicle lengths between the truck and your vehicle. Since it takes large trucks two times longer to slow down (in comparison to passenger cars), tractor-trailers need extra room. If you pass a tractor-trailer and fail to leave enough room, the truck driver may not be able to slow down quickly enough and could collide with your vehicle.