Where Are a Semi-Truck’s Blind Spots?
Ryan Zavodnick | July 1, 2021 | Truck Accidents
Semi-trucks have large blind spots, or “no-zones,” which are located in the front and rear of the truck and on its sides. The truck driver cannot see a vehicle, pedestrian, bicyclist, or another object in the truck’s blind spots.
Blind spot accidents are common. Unfortunately, a large truck can crush a passenger vehicle and cause catastrophic injuries for the passenger vehicle occupants. Therefore, other motorists need to be aware of the location and size of the truck’s blind spots to avoid blind spot accidents.
How Wide Are the Blind Spots for a Semi-Truck?
According to the FMCSA, the width and length of blind spots on a semi-truck are:
Semi-Truck’s Front Blind Spot
The blind spot in front of the 18-wheeler extends across the entire width of the truck’s cab. It extends out from the truck at least 20 feet.
Semi-Truck’s Rear Blind Spot
The blind spot in the rear of the truck extends across the entire width of the trailer. It extends 30 feet back from the end of the trailer.
Semi-Truck’s Driver Side Blind Spot
The blind spot on the left of the truck (driver’s side) extends one lane out from the side of the truck. According to the FMCSA diagram, the truck’s left blind spot begins at the driver’s seat and runs back about three-fourths of the way down the trailer.
Semi-Truck’s Passenger Side Blind Spot
The right blind spot is the largest blind spot for a semi-truck. The blind spot begins at the truck’s front end and extends at least ten to twenty feet from the rear of the truck. It extends out from the truck for two lanes.
Tips for Avoiding Blind Spot Accidents with Large Trucks
A truck driver should always carefully check all areas before maneuvering the truck to avoid a collision with another vehicle or object. However, motorists should take their own steps to avoid driving in a semi-truck’s blind spot. If the driver cannot see your vehicle, your vehicle could become pinned under the truck or between the truck and another object.
Tips for avoiding blind spot accidents with 18-wheelers or big rigs include:
- Pass the truck as quickly as possible
- Ensure that you have cleared the front blind spot before you merge into a lane with a large truck
- Always signal your intention to pass and merge
- Whenever possible, pass large trucks on the left side because the blind spot is smaller on that side of the truck
- If you cannot see the driver’s side mirrors when following a truck, you are likely in the truck’s rear blind spot
Individuals in other vehicles are far more likely to be injured or killed compared to the truck driver. Based on 2018 data, 71 percent of the fatalities in large truck accidents were occupants of other vehicles. Occupants of other vehicles sustained roughly 72 percent of the injuries in semi-truck crashes.
You might not be able to control a truck driver’s conduct or other conditions, but you can take steps to stay out of a semi-truck’s blind spots.
Who is Responsible for a Semi-Truck Accident?
Many factors might contribute to a semi-truck accident. Negligence is a common factor in large truck crashes.
Common causes of semi-truck accidents include:
- Speeding and reckless driving
- Impaired driving
- Drowsy driving
- Improperly loaded cargo
- Failure to follow traffic laws
- Tailgating or following too closely
- Distracted driving
- Failure to maintain trucks
- Defective truck parts
- Poor weather conditions
- Hazardous road conditions
The factors that contribute to a truck crash determine who is responsible for the damages caused by the collision. Truck drivers and trucking companies are often named as defendants in truck accident lawsuits. However, other parties could share the responsibility for the cause of the accident.
For instance, other motorists may have contributed to the cause of the large truck crash. Road hazards or defective parts could be the reason a truck driver lost control of a truck. Also, loaders and shippers could have contributed to the cause of the accident if improperly loaded cargo shifted, causing the truck driver to lose control of the semi-truck.
Do I Need an Attorney to Handle a Commercial Truck Accident Claim?
Truck accident investigations are much more complicated and involve many more parties than a typical car accident investigation. An experienced truck accident lawyer has the skills and resources to investigate a truck accident. An attorney has access to industry experts and accident reconstructionists who can assist with the investigation.
A truck accident lawyer also understands the types of damages available for a truck accident claim and how to value those damages accurately. If you handle the injury claim without an attorney, you might not know to ask for compensation for certain damages or understand how much your case is worth.
The insurance company and trucking company are not going to tell you the truth about your claim. They do not have your best interest at heart. A truck accident attorney protects your right to receive full compensation for your injuries and damages.