Travel Smarter, Travel Safer: A Traveler’s Guide to Truck No Zones

truck zones
travelers guide to no truck zone

Are you a truck driver? If so, this guide is for you. Driving a large truck can be a tough and dangerous job simply because of their size and height. Usually, a truck weighs up to 80,000 pounds compared to the average American car’s 3,000.

It can block visibility for other drivers sharing the road. Blind spots have been a reason for thousands of accidents for years now, particularly around large trucks. 

Knowing these blind spots and learning how to navigate them, can make a difference and ensure safe traveling.

Despite all the efforts we can make to educate the public about truck blind spots, accidents still happen all too often. In such situations, getting assistance from truck accident lawyers at Fuicelli & Lee helps you go through the legal process more effectively.

In this guide, you can expect to look at details about truck no-zones and tips for safe driving.

Understanding “No Zones” 

To start with, staying safe when driving is not the truck driver’s responsibility alone. The fact is, in almost 78% of car-truck accidents, the car was at fault. Small vehicle drivers should learn to avoid the truck zone.

Large trucks and buses have huge blind spots. These blind spots are referred to as “No Zones” around the front, back, and sides of the vehicle.

Do You Know?:

2024 stats show collisions are far more common during daylight hours. Hence, compared with just 20.4% at night, a total of 79.6% of truck crashes occurred in the daytime.

As per the “Rule of Thumb”, it can be tricky to know if you are in a blind spot or not. The rule is if you can see the truck driver’s face in their side mirrors, then the driver can see you. This is a sign that you are in a blind spot. So, avoid driving in a truck’s blind spot, slow down, or move ahead to stay visible.

Meanwhile, the main areas of a truck that you should avoid are as follows:

Areas of a Truck’s No Zones
  • Side No-Zones

As you can see in the figure right above, trucks have extremely large blind spots on both sides and the front part of the trailer. What happens is that those blind spots then angle out from the truck. 

If you are driving in these blind spots, then there are possibilities that you can be sideswiped by a truck that can’t see you.

Statistics:

Stats on U.S. Traffic Fatalities

In 2022, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that approximately 43,000 people tragically lost their lives on America’s roadways.

  • Rear No-Zones

Are you aware that truck drivers have no rear-view mirror to look through? This is true. For that reason, they rely on their side-view mirrors. The rear no-zone measures approximately 200 feet from the back of the truck. 

Driving in this area also blocks your vision of what’s ahead and eventually decreases the reaction time if a truck stops suddenly.

  • Front No-Zones

Taking over a truck is not ideal at all as the front no-zone area extends nearly 20 feet ahead. So, a driver should remain farther away from the front.

Tips for Safe Travelling 

In addition to avoiding no-zones, here are some additional tips that need to be addressed: 

Don’t Cut Off Trucks

Cutting in too close in front of the vehicle is always dangerous, especially “cutting off” a commercial bus or truck. If you move in quickly from either side, then you’ll be in a blind spot. And, even if you’re visible the vehicle may not be able to slow quickly because of the amount of time it takes to stop.

Simply, be sure there is at least one car length for every 10 miles per hour between you and the truck before pulling in front.

Let’s understand with an example:

Illustration of Cutting Off Truck

Suppose you are a car driver and are driving at 60 mph. Then, have at least six car lengths between the front of the truck and your car prior to merging into the same lane.

Stopping Distances

Trucks are considerably more massive in comparison to cars and other vehicles, so they require longer stopping and maneuvering distances.

Specs of a Car and a Truck

As you can notice in the figure, large trucks can weigh 80,000 pounds and passenger vehicles are about 3000–4000 pounds. Accordingly, a passenger car traveling at a speed of 65 mph would take 316 feet to stop and a loaded tractor-trailer traveling at a speed of 65 mph would take 5 to 5 feet to stop.

The total stopping distance is how many miles the car accelerates from when you see a potential threat and press the brake until it stops. The total stopping distance is made up of three parts i.e., perception distance, reaction time, and braking distance.

Anticipate Wide Turns

Anticipation of Wide Turn

Trucks have a wider turning radius and will often move into adjacent lanes before and after a turning maneuver.  So, when turning right, trucks must swing wide to the left to keep clear of the curb.

Fast Fact:
In 2024, as per the Department of Transportation, one semi-truck automobile collision occurs every 15 minutes in the United States.

How to drive around a truck turning right or left? The answer is, to only pass a truck on the left, specifically, when there are possibilities that it will turn right. Other than that, watch for the truck’s turn signal or indicator to see what the driver intends to do.

Stay Back

Tailgating might have dangerous outcomes. Firstly, it will put you in a blind spot. Then, because tractor-trailers are so high off the ground, if you fail to stop there are chances that your vehicle could slide under that giant vehicle.

Secondly, getting too close when stopped or on an upgrade is dangerous and both vehicles might roll back.

Conclusion

While on the go, the journey could be both exciting and unpredictable so, it’s necessary to prioritize safety every step of the way. Keeping the concept of truck No Zones in mind and other proactive measures ensures the reduction of accidents on roads.

Do not ever linger in blind spots, maintain a safe distance, use signals, stay visible, and remain patient around trucks. 

So, embrace safer road experiences!




Related Posts's
×