Semi-truck accidents are not exactly rare in the U.S. In fact, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were roughly 500,000 reportable 18-wheeler accidents on U.S. roadways in 2019 alone. Staying out of the truck’s blind spots is one of the more effective ways to avoid being in a catastrophic collision with a tractor-trailer.
A blind spot is a place around a vehicle where its driver cannot see even when using the rearview or side mirrors. The blind spots on passenger cars, trucks and SUVs tend to be significantly smaller than those on tractor-trailers. So, where exactly are an 18-wheeler’s blind spots?
The area in front of the vehicle
Because of the height of a tractor-trailer, its driver may not be able to see vehicles, other objects and pedestrians that are within 20 feet of the truck’s front end. Twenty feet is about two lengths of a full-sized pickup truck.
The area behind the vehicle
The blind spot behind a tractor-trailer is significantly larger than the one in front. Indeed, a driver may miss objects that are within 30 feet of the back of their trailer. Thirty feet is roughly the size of a full-sized school bus.
Areas beside the vehicle
As you may suspect, a trucker has an easier time seeing objects that are on their left side than those on the right. This is because the driver sits on the left side of the 18-wheeler. Still, when you are in the left lane and passing a tractor-trailer, the trucker may not be able to see you. On the right side, the trucker may be unable to spot passing vehicles in the two adjacent right lanes.
Ultimately, even though it is probably impossible to avoid trucker blind spots at all times, quickly passing through them decreases your chances of suffering a life-altering injury in a truck accident.