Semi-trucks have large blind spots that prevent truck drivers from completely seeing their surroundings, but they still need to be aware people might be in those zones. For example, all these motorcycles in the picture above are in a blind spot. Truck drivers should be educated on these blind spots and drive responsibly. Here are the most common blind spots drivers need to know about, and what trucking companies and drivers need to do to make sure others aren’t at risk.
Semi Blind Spot In Front of the Cab
The front of the truck where the driver sits is called the cab. Most people assume that as long as they’re in front of a semi, they’re safe. This isn’t entirely the truth. If you drive just in front of the cab, you are cut off by the end of the front window and the long engine of the truck. No mirrors show this angle, so truck drivers should be trained to check carefully before turning or accelerating and leave distance between themselves and other vehicles on the road.
Semi Blind Spot on Passenger Side
The passenger side of the semi is one of the biggest blind-spots for a truck driver. As seen in the picture, it’s difficult for the driver to see much on the passenger side of the truck. This is why on many highways and freeways, trucks are required by law to keep in the right lane. If a trucker is driving in the left lane, it’s unlikely they will see someone trying to pass on the right.
Semi Blind Spot on Driver’s Side
Drivers have an easier time seeing out the window on their left, but a blind spot still exists further back along the trailer or truck bed. This is why the driver using turn signals to warn others of a lane change is essential when a truck is merging. The best way to stay visible on the left side is to stay at a distance and parallel to the window or speed up and pass when possible.
Semi Blind Spot Behind the Trailer
The blind spot behind a semi-trailer causes so many injuries and deaths, the industry is creating safety protections like underride guards to prevent tragic truck and semi accidents. Unfortunately, these are not yet required by law to be on all trucks and semis. This blind spot is one the driver of the truck should always consider when braking or stopping suddenly.
While semi-truck blind spots are potentially dangerous, they may be dramatically reduced through the introduction of camera systems. One trucking technology company even hopes to replace side-view mirrors entirely with cameras. The mounted digital displays provide a driver views of the blind spot in the front of the cab along with the ground and lanes on either side of the truck. If these cameras or others are in use during an accident, the resulting footage is valuable evidence of what happened.
These cameras are currently being tested in the U.S. and could eliminate blind spots altogether, but until then, if you or a loved one has suffered as the result of a semi-truck accident, contact one of our trucking accident attorneys today for a free consultation. Or, if you want more information first, read The Beginner’s Guide to Personal Injury Cases to learn about what happens in a majority of trucking accident cases.