One may notice that most of the accidents involve trucks.
It is not only because of its Size.
It is due to many factors including the ‘Blind Spot ‘ of a Truck
People assume that being higher up in a Truck enables a driver to see the Traffic clearly.
This is not correct.
The Blind Spot of Trucks.
A blind spot is where the driver loses sight of other vehicles. Understanding the location and scope of each blind spot or “no zone” can help you avoid them. The image details the no-zones.
- There is a blind spot directly behind the truck. There is a “no zone” on each side of the truck that can span for several lanes.
- There is a blind spot in front of the truck that encompasses the lane the truck is in and one lane to the right.
- There is a blind spot beside the truck’s right door (left door in countries that drive on the left side).
- Blind Spot Video.
When sharing the road with trucks, it’s important to drive carefully and to realize that trucks cannot maneuver quickly in an emergency situation. Being patient is as important as knowing where the truck’s blind spots are.
Do not follow a truck too closely. By staying close behind a truck (also known as “tailgating“), you’ll be in the truck’s rear blind spot, and if the driver isn’t aware of this and makes a sudden stop or maneuver, you’re at risk of rear-ending into the truck. The best distance is about 20 to 25 car lengths behind a truck. This is also known as maintaining a four second following distance. In poor weather conditions, this gap should be even longer.
- It is also dangerous to pass from a position too close behind a truck as you cannot see the traffic ahead clearly.
- Trucks traveling at high speeds create a lot of wind pressure, which is another reason for not staying too close.
- At night time, when following a truck keep your headlights on low beam because the truck’s side mirrors can reflect the light back into the car driver’s eyes.
- Keep both (left and right) truck mirrors in your sights as much as possible when traveling behind a truck. If you can see the driver’s face in his mirrors, then it’s likely that he can see you. The moment that you cannot see the driver’s face in the truck’s side mirrors, he can’t see you any longer.
- If you lose sight of even one of the mirrors, the truck driver can no longer see your vehicle.
- Give plenty of space when driving in front of a truck. Ensure that there is ample room when you change lanes in front of a truck.
- Pass or overtake a truck with care. Do not pass or overtake a truck on the right hand side (left hand side in countries that keep to the left); this is because a truck’s blind spot on the right runs down the length of the trailer and extends out three lanes!
- Signal your intention to pass early on and clearly. Be certain that the passing lane is clear before pulling out – bear in mind that it takes 25 seconds to pass a large truck on the open road.
- Pass quickly to stay out of the truck’s side “no zones” area. Do not linger beside a truck but pass quickly. If you cannot pass a truck quickly, it’s best to fall back behind the truck so you can be seen again.
- Keep in mind that you may be subjected to turbulence when pulling out from behind the truck and when passing back in front of it. This impacts small cars and motorcyclists the most.
- If passing or overtaking on the crest of a hill, remember that trucks speed up on the downhill.
- Avoid cutting in too soon after passing. Truckers sit high and the hood of the cab hides part of the road in front of them. You should be able to see the entire front of the truck (or both of its headlights) in your inside rear-view mirror before you pull back in front of a truck. A truck requires twice the amount of time and space to stop as does a car.
- Do not decelerate immediately after pulling in front of a truck after passing. You may still be in the driver’s blind spot. Even if you are seen, given that it takes longer for a truck to slow down or stop, the driver may not be able to stop in time. Instead, keep traveling fast to create a distance of about 10 car spaces between you and the truck.[19