Friday, 15 Nov 2019

Avoid Blind Spots and Stay Safe around Big Rigs

Have you ever traveled near an 18-wheeler? Typically, driving near these huge vehicles can be dangerous and frightening, particularly for motorcyclists and drivers of cars and other medium-sized vehicles. Note that big rigs have a blind spot or ‘no-zones.’ Simply put, when traveling in these zones, it is impossible or challenging for the truck driver to see you. 

Type of big rig blind spots 

Nearly all tractor trailers and different types of commercial tractors have blind spots in the front, back, and both sides of the vehicle. These are common areas where the driver can’t see the motorist or driver clearly. Here are the different types of blind spots you should know. 

Rear blind spots: It is difficult for a truck driver to see another vehicle directly behind the truck. 

Front blind spots: This particular blind spot is always directly in front of the rig. It’s often caused by the truck’s engine and can extend about 10 feet to 20 feet in front of the truck based on the truck’s design. 

Side blind spots: Generally, there are blind spots on both sides of big rigs. The blind spots extend from the right front corner of the commercial trailer to behind the cab door and sometimes extends a single lane beside the big rig. The second blind spot often extends from the driver’s door as far as 100 to 200 feet behind the vehicle. This type of blind spot can sometimes reach across two lanes of traffic. 

Tips to avoid blind spots

Stay aware 

It is recommended to keep away from both sides of big rigs when driving. Note that huge trucks are associated with bigger blind spots and so, it is important for you to know where these blind spots are located. Besides, you should be sure that the truck driver can see you or you can see their side mirror. If you are unable to see the truck driver’s side mirror, the chances are that you are in a blind spot. And that’s bad news for you. 

Be careful when driving behind or in front of a big rig

Always give ample space whenever driving in front or behind a truck. Sometimes trucks can stop instantly, and if you were too close behind it, you might crash into it. Make sure you can see the truck’s headlights on your rearview mirror. This means that you are out of the truck’s front blind spot and your car is at a safe distance in front of the vehicle. 

Be cautious when overtaking

It is wise to signal early. Remember, passing a commercial truck means you must go through some form of a blind spot. Let the other driver know you intend to pass early, and this will give them enough time to pave the way for you. 

Most people assume that big rig drivers have a better view of the road as their vehicles have large mirrors and higher off the ground. However, this isn’t always the case. Trucks have blind spots, and all other drivers must exercise caution when sharing roads with commercial trucks.