They may seem like they are just larger vehicles, but commercial trucks have significant differences from passenger vehicles that affect how they operate and navigate sharing the roads with smaller cars. One difference is that large trucks have sizable blind spots, or “no-zones,” to the front and rear, as well as on both sides.
There are some safeguards drivers can take when sharing the road with commercial vehicles.
Keep a safe following distance
According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, drivers may avoid some trucking accidents by refraining from tailgating. Tractor-trailer drivers may not see smaller vehicles in their rear blind spots, and the drivers of smaller vehicles may struggle to see the road ahead if following too closely behind commercial trucks.
Do not cut in front
Drivers may want to take advantage of open space in front of large trucks in traffic. However, due to the large no-zones immediately in front of tractor-trailers, their operators may not see smaller vehicles merge in front of them. Cutting in front of these vehicles may also eliminate their braking buffers, which may cause truckers to rear-end the vehicles in front of them or brake too hard, potentially causing them to jackknife.
Practice safe passing
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drivers may benefit from not lingering in blind spots when passing large commercial trucks on the road. They should ensure they have ample time and space before safely and efficiently maneuvering their vehicles past the tractor-trailer. If they cannot see the truck’s driver in their side mirrors, then the truck’s driver cannot see them.
Auto accidents involving large commercial trucks and passenger vehicles may leave people with serious injuries and financial challenges.