A “blind spot” is an area around the vehicle that the driver can’t see in the mirrors.
All vehicles have them, but semi-trucks have 4 big blind spots.
Here a truck’s blind spots, or “no-zones”:
Left side, under the cab mirror;
Right side, under the cab mirror and extending out;
In front of the truck cab, at least 20 feet; and
Behind the trailer, at least 30 feet.
Remember, if you can’t see a semi-truck’s mirrors, the truck driver can’t see you.
While it’s true that it is the truck driver’s responsibility to change lanes safely, and to check for other vehicles, we all have a responsibility to drive safely and avoid crashes whenever possible.
A solution to dangerous blind spots?
Motor vehicle safety technology has advanced drastically in the last decades. It’s easy to forget that there’s been no real solution to this very real problem.
The closest thing to a solution thus far is “side-view assist.” Some of the more safety-conscious motor carriers have added this collision avoidance technology to their fleets.
Back in 2010, IIHS found that side-view assist could affect up to 39,000 crashes each year—including 2,000 serious to moderate injury crashes, and another 79 fatal crashes.
Since then, not much has changed.
There’s been no real advancement in applying blind spot technology in commercial trucks … but other autonomous features in trucks are progressing rapidly.
In the meantime, know the blind spots.