When you have to drive in close proximity with large commercial trucks, you probably feel acutely aware of the size difference between your vehicle and the truck. You probably try to stay alert and aware of what the truck is doing. If you are like most drivers, you will probably try to leave as much space between your vehicle and the commercial truck as possible.
However, on the highway or during heavy traffic times, you may not have the option of moving away from a large commercial truck. The closer you are to one of these vehicles, the greater your risk of a potential crash. If nothing else, you should make sure you know about the large blind cell zones associated with commercial trucks and how to avoid them.
There are blind spots in every direction around a large commercial truck. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration calls these blind spots “no zones” and recommends that drivers never enter these spaces. Despite their large mirrors, they cannot see clearly on either side of the truck. They also cannot see directly in front of or behind the vehicle. Learning to avoid these spaces can keep you safe.
On the left hand side of a truck, you should avoid the entire length of the trailer for the lane of traffic directly to the left of the vehicle. On the right hand side, you want to avoid two lanes including the length of the trailer and slightly behind the truck. You should always leave ample space between your vehicle and a commercial truck.
Although it is always the fault of the driver who fails to stop, getting rear-ended by a commercial truck can be a catastrophic accident. You need to understand that these large vehicles take much longer than passenger vehicles to come to a complete stop. That means you should leave at least twice as much distance between your vehicle and a commercial truck when changing lanes.
Avoid the 20 feet directly between your vehicle and the front of the truck. If you merge too close to the front of the truck, it may not be able to slow or stop in time, resulting in a severe, if not fatal, rear collision with a commercial truck.
Similarly, when driving behind a commercial truck, you should give plenty of space between the rear of that vehicle and your own. You should be at least 30 feet from the back of the trailer. Ideally, you will either fall back behind the truck or move in front of it in traffic, thereby avoiding driving in close proximity.
If someone you know has been injured in a crash with a semi-truck, contact a Kentucky truck accident lawyer from our firm for legal help.