Every day we travel the roads with various types of vehicles such as cars, buses, and tractor trailers. We must exercise caution everyday but especially now with the increase of vehicles and the rush of the holiday season. Educating yourself on the different types of vehicles you are traveling with can make you and your family safer during your travels.
Many people view trucks and their drivers in an unfavorable light. They see a truck coming over on someone and assume they are just another rude truck driver. Most car drivers have no idea that there are certain times that a truck driver cannot even see a vehicle that is near them. Strange, but true! Just because trucks are bigger and taller does not mean they can see any better than someone in another type of vehicle.
In 1994 the FMSCA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) started a program called the “NO ZONE”; Working with law enforcement agencies, professional associations, highway safety groups, and carriers to inform the public of the blind spots, “NO ZONES”, around a tractor trailer in hopes of decreasing injuries, property damage and deaths.
According to FMSCA there are 4 major blind spots (NO ZONES) on a tractor trailer that you should beware of:
•1. Directly in front of the truck. When passing a tractor trailer make sure when you are ready to get back in front of the truck that you can see the entire front of the truck in your rear view mirror. You could cause an accident if you cut back in front with not enough room. Keep in mind it will take that truck twice the distance to stop as it would a car.
•2. Either side of the trailer. If you are traveling beside the trailer make sure you can see the driver in his side truck mirror. If you cannot see him in that side mirror he cannot see you!
•3. Directly behind the trailer. Never follow too close; again you should be able to see the driver in his side mirror in order for him to see you back there.
•4. Right side of the trailer, when making a right hand turn. Most trucks have to swing wide to the left in order to safely make a right hand turn. Never try and beat them to the turn, they will not be able to see you!
We all have to share the road and knowing more about the different vehicles we are traveling with is like an ounce of prevention.