Grimes & Fertitta, P.C.

18-wheelers and their "blind spots"

When you are passing an 18-wheeler on the road, does it ever occur to you that one slip of the hand by the truck driver could be fatal for you?

How would you feel about being near a truck if you knew the driver could not see you? It's not a comforting thought. But it's reality. In this post we will explain trucks' "blind spots."

Four blind spots

You probably know that large trucks have a blind spot to their left -- and you know it's not wise to spend much time in the blind spot while passing. But according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, semi trucks have more than one blind spot. In fact, semi trucks have blind spots to their left, right, front and rear!

Here are the blind spots for 18-wheelers:

  • On the left: the equivalent of one lane of traffic
  • On the right: the equivalent of two lanes of traffic
  • Front: 20 feet
  • Back: 30 feet

In past blog posts we have written about the causes of truck accidents, but we haven't included "not being able to see" as one of those causes. Now you know.

How to deal with blind spots

As a careful driver, what should you do with this knowledge about blind spots?

  • Stay out of blind spots, unless you are passing
  • When passing on the left, be aware that until you see the truck driver's face in the truck's rear view mirror, you are in the driver's blind spot
  • Pass only on the left side of a large truck

No matter how cautious or knowledgeable you are about trucks and their blind spots, it's possible to be involved in a wreck with a truck. If you are injured in a crash involving a semi, it is crucial to have an experienced attorney on your side who knows how to properly litigate these types of accidents.

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