Any car accident has the possibility of being fatal. However, the odds of death or injury go up if one of the vehicles involved in the accident is a semi truck.
There are many major differences between regular passenger vehicles and semi trucks, and understanding the differences can help you drive safely around larger vehicles. According to the Federal Motor Carrier safety administration, no zones are the blind spots surrounding a semi truck and passenger vehicle operator should avoid being in these zones.
Where are the no zones?
There are four large blind spots surrounding every semi truck. The blind spot in front of a semi truck extends for 20 feet, while the blind spot behind a semi truck may stretch for 30. The blind spot on the left side of a semi truck extends over one lane of traffic. The blind spot on the right side of a semi truck extends for two lanes of traffic.
Being aware of where the no zones are on a semi truck can help you position yourself properly. If the driver of the semi truck can see you clearly, the likelihood of an accident goes down.
How should I pass a semi truck?
Because the blind spot on the right side of a semi truck is so large, you should always pass a semi-truck on the left hand side. Make sure to merge into the left lane prior to the 30-foot no zone behind the semi truck. When you pass the truck, give it as much space as possible in front to merge back into the lane. Cutting off a semi truck can be extremely dangerous since they require so much space to stop.