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The Dangers of Tractor-Trailer Blindspots

Most people know that cars and passenger trucks have blindspots, so it’s no surprise that tractor-trailers do as well. However, large trucks have more blindspots than their passenger vehicle counterparts…and they’re much bigger. This is basically due to a truck’s large size, but tractor-trailers are not equipped with a rear view mirror either. As such, the visibility of large trucks is extremely limited in the front and back, and on both sides. Read on for more information about tractor-trailer blindspots, and how you can avoid being injured in a related accident.

In some ways, a truck’s height is an advantage. However, low-riding cars and vehicles close to the truck’s front and back can easily disappear into a very dangerous blindspot. This is equally true of motorcycles and bicycles. As stated above, trucks don’t have rear view mirrors. They rely solely on side mirrors to see their surroundings.

No-Zones

The No-Zone program was introduced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) in 1994 to educate the public on how to drive safely in the presence of large trucks and buses. According to FMSCA, more than 80 percent of large truck accidents are not the fault of the truck driver. No-Zones are a truck’s most dangerous blindspots, and they are where the vast majority of these accidents occur. To avoid being involved in a No-Zone-related accident, follow the tips below, courtesy of the American Trucking Association (ATA):

 

  • Never cut off a truck or bus. Vehicles of this size require significantly more distance to slow down and stop. If you abruptly cut in front of a large truck or bus, the driver may not have enough time to brake. To ensure everyone’s safety, you should avoid pulling in front of a truck until you can see its entire front end. A Boston trucking accident attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured in an accident involving a tractor-trailer.

 

  • Avoid lingering along a truck’s side. Obviously, in order to pass a truck, you have to drive alongside it for a short period of time. However, lingering there is not a good idea. Unless you can see the driver’s face in the side view mirror, chances are you’re in the truck’s blindspot when you’re driving alongside it.

 

  • When possible, pass a large truck on the left. The blindspot on the right side of a truck is much larger than on the left. In fact, the blindspot on the right limits visibility for the entire length of the truck, and visibility remains low for up to three lanes out. A MA trucking accident lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured in an accident involving a large truck.

 

  • Keep your distance. We all know it’s a bad idea to tailgate another vehicle, but getting too close to a tractor-trailer is an especially bad idea. You should put between 20 to 25 car lengths of space between you and a truck ahead of you. The area close behind the truck is another blindspot, and if you get to close, a truck driver won’t know you’re there if there is a sudden need to brake hard. In addition, trucks can create significant wind pressure, which can be extremely dangerous for drivers who get too close.

 

Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Top Trucking Accident Law Firm

If you have been injured in a trucking accident, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of accident and injury victims for more than 50 years. Trucking accidents are especially complex because they can involve multiple parties: truck drivers, trucking companies, third-party vendors, and drivers of other passenger vehicles. At Altman & Altman, LLP, we know how to navigate this complex process, determine who was at fault, and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been injured, we can help. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.