Most drivers don’t realize it, but semi-trucks have terrible visibility. The truck driver typically can’t see directly in front of their vehicle, behind their trailer, or to their immediate left and right. This area of zero visibility is so notorious, it has a special name; “the no-zone.” But what is the no-zone and where are a trucker’s blind spots? Let’s find out.
Large trucks are designed for long hauls and highway travel. Truck drivers are often trained to look for hazards far ahead of their vehicle. At the same time, the truck’s physical limitations (its height and length) make it difficult to see objects that are extremely close to the cab. In some cases, a smaller vehicle can approach a truck and pass it before the driver knows the car is there.
To get a better idea of a truck’s no-zone, we’ve created a handy graphic. The dark areas denote the truck’s blind spots.
From, this we see that the no-zone surrounds the truck. Typically, a truck driver cannot see vehicles that are:
Less than 20ft in front of their cab
Less than 30ft behind their trailer
Adjacent to the driver’s seat
Directly to the right side of the vehicle
The no-zone is significantly larger on the right-hand side for the same reason your passenger side mirrors state, “Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.” The mirror is curved, and thus produces a distorted image, showing the truck driver traffic far behind them, but nothing to their immediate right. However, some trucks address this by installing smaller mirrors and other equipment that can reduce their blind spots.
Make Sure You’re Seen
A significant number of truck crashes occur when a smaller vehicle in the travel lane lingers next to a truck in the fast lane. If the truck driver needs to change lanes, they may not see the vehicle next to them. Likewise, the other driver may not see the truck’s turn signal and know that they need to pass quickly.
Unfortunately, many experienced drivers don’t know how to maneuver their vehicles around large trucks. As a general rule, remember to only pass trucks on the left side. Also, remember that the truck driver can usually only see you if you can see their reflection in the mirror.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries or wrongful death in a trucking accident, we are here for you. To discuss your crash with an experienced Kansas City truck accident attorney from Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman, send us an email or call us at (816) 542-5999 for a free consultation.