Truck Blind Sports (“No Zones”) Constitute a Common Factor in Atlanta Trucking Accidents
Anyone who drives a car understands the notion of a blind spot, which involves areas where another vehicle is not visible through use of a driver’s mirrors. Tractor-trailers, like smaller passenger vehicles, also have blind spots, but these areas are massive. When a motorist is driving in the vicinity of a tractor-trailer, the motorist needs be aware of the location of these blind spots and avoid driving in these unsafe locations around a big-rig. These so-called “no zones” are the locations around a tractor-trailer that are most likely to be involved in an Atlanta collision with another vehicle.
Tractor-trailers have large blind spots located on either side of the rig that start from behind the cab and can extend 20-40 feet back on the trailer. Tractor-trailers also have these blind spots immediately behind the big-rig. No zones in the rear of a tractor-trailer may extend up to two hundred feet behind the vehicle. Trucks also may have a no zone immediately in front of the cab of the tractor-trailer.
These large tractor-trailer blind spots mean that motorists must be extra vigilant when driving in close proximity to a large truck. Drivers of passenger vehicles should try to completely avoid no zones by avoiding the following unsafe driving practices:
- Tailgating a tractor-trailer
- Driving in the adjacent lane of traffic next to the trailer for an extended distance
- Passing a tractor-trailer and then immediately cutting over in front of the big-rig
- Ignoring no zones on the right side of semi-trucks which are larger
Driver fatigue and carelessness can be more dangerous when they affect a commercial driver in a tractor-trailer because visibility if so limited. While there are sensor systems that now exist which can warn commercial truck drivers of pending collisions with vehicles in their no zones, many tractor-trailers are not yet equipped with this technology.
This lack of visibility associated with tractor-trailers is even more problematic because of the relative lack of maneuverability associated with commercial trucks. For example, a tractor trailer requires a longer stopping distance at a given speed than a passenger vehicle, even more so if the truck is carrying a heavy load. If you are traveling in the no zone immediately in front of a commercial truck, the driver must be able to see you and have time to respond if you must come to an abrupt stop. This is why it is advisable to allow for larger distances between a passenger vehicle and commercial truck and to avoid traveling in tractor-trailer blind spots.
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