If you’ve ever felt nervous, anxious, or even frightened while driving next to a big truck, you’re not alone. Many drivers tighten their grip on the steering wheel when 18-wheelers come barreling down highways or interstates next to their vehicles.
One of the best ways to protect yourself while driving near tractor trailers is to be aware of their “No Zones”—or areas drivers should avoid to stay out of big trucks’ blind spots. Standard semi trucks that are carrying trailers or large cargo loads have four “No Zones.” These are located:
- 20 feet in front of their cabins – Compared to drivers’ seats in cars, trucks, and SUVs, truck cabins are significantly elevated, making it difficult for truck drivers to see vehicles directly in front of them.
- Under and behind their driver’s side windows – Truck drivers have great vantage points from their elevated positions, but head checks and mirror checks may not show them vehicles directly underneath their doors.
- Under and behind their passenger’s side windows – Blind spots on big truck passenger’s sides extend from one to two lanes from their cabins to the ends of their trailers and beyond.
- 30 feet behind their trailers – One of the biggest blind spots for big truck drivers is the area 30 feet behind their trailers, as their mirrors are unable to show any vehicles in that spot.
Staying out of truck “No Zones” can help you decrease your risk of being involved in an accident with a big truck, but it can’t eliminate it. Truck drivers, owners, and companies sometimes violate industry regulations to increase profits, putting others at risk.