As drivers, we all know how intimidating it can be to share the road with semi-trucks. They are massive vehicles that require a lot of space to maneuver, and they have many blind spots, which means truck drivers probably can’t see in certain circumstances. Therefore, it’s important to understand the concept of a truck’s “no-zone” to ensure your safety and others on the road.

What Does Truck “No Zone” Mean?

The “no-zone” refers to the blind spots around a semi-truck where other vehicles and pedestrians are not visible to the truck driver. There are four main blind spots that truck drivers have to be aware of, which are located:

  1. On the left side of the truck
  2. On the right side of the truck
  3. Directly in front of the truck
  4. Directly behind the truck

The blind spots can extend as far as 30 feet behind the truck and can be up to three lanes wide on either side. As a driver or pedestrian, it’s crucial to be aware of these truck “no-zones” when sharing the road, so you can avoid any injuries caused by a semi-truck that could be fatal.

Best Practices for Motorists

Driving on the highway? You’re bound to run into several semi-trucks along the way. Follow these tips to keep safe and calm.

Stay Out of the Truck “No-Zone”

Try to avoid driving directly in front of or behind a semi-truck or in the lanes directly next to it. If you need to pass a truck, make sure you do so quickly and safely, putting at least 20 feet of distance between you.

Make Yourself Visible

If you’re driving near a semi-truck, make sure that you are visible to the driver. Avoid driving in their blind spots and use your headlights and turn signals to signal your intentions. Also, in order to make a right turn, there are times that truck drivers must first swing wide to the left.

Give the driver the berth his truck requires. Never try to get past them when they’re making this maneuver as their rear and side visibility is greatly compromised.

Give Trucks Plenty of Space

Maintain a safe distance (20 to 25 car lengths) and don’t make any sudden or unpredictable movements. Anything can happen on the highway, and trucks don’t have the advantage when it comes to quick movements. Keeping a safe following distance may give you the extra seconds to steer clear of danger.

Be Observant

Look for signs that the truck driver is distracted or falling asleep at the wheel. Unfortunately truck driving is an industry that pays by the mile or load, not by the hour. Because of this, truck drivers often push themselves beyond their own physical limits as well as the time constraints imposed upon them by law.

Be Patient

Remember that semi-trucks are much larger and heavier than other vehicles on the road, so they may take longer to accelerate, decelerate or turn. Be patient and give them the time they need to safely navigate the road.

Don’t Give in to Road Rage

We’ve all had the experience of dealing with a truck that is pushing the speed limit, or suddenly slams on their brakes. No matter what you feel, do not let yourself become so angry that you act on your emotions and do something rash. If you feel strongly that the driver is breaking a law, or driving recklessly, use a hands-free device to call the police and report the incident to them.

Best Practices for Pedestrians

When semi-trucks make their deliveries, they’re often faced with even smaller streets and tighter turns to navigate, which can put pedestrians at risk of a fatal injuries. 

  • If there is a sidewalk on either side of the road, use it. If there is not a sidewalk, walk facing oncoming traffic so you can see what is heading your way.
  • Cross streets only at a designated crosswalk. Always make eye contact with any approaching drivers, so you know that they see you.
  • Because it can be hard to see pedestrians on the side of the road, especially at night or in bad weather, wear a brightly colored coat, hat, or scarf so that you are clearly visible.
  • Keep as much distance between you and the road as possible. If you need to stop and back further off the shoulder while a large vehicle passes, take the time to do so.
  • Don’t use headphones, cellphones, or other devices that prevent you from being aware of your surroundings.

For more pedestrian walking safety tips, read our guide.

To Drive Safely Near Big Rigs You Should Not

  • Cut off a semi-truck or suddenly change lanes in front of them, as this can limit the truck driver’s visibility and reaction time.
  • Tailgate or drive too closely behind a semi-truck, as they have larger blind spots than smaller vehicles.
  • Pass a semi-truck on the right side, as this is the truck driver’s blind spot and can be dangerous for both vehicles.

Injured in a Truck or Semi-Truck Crash?

Colliding with a commercial semi-truck can have devastating consequences, especially for smaller vehicles on the road. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a semi-truck accident, please contact the Minnesota truck accident attorneys at Meshbesher & Spence for a free consultation.

Our attorneys have expertise in semi-truck accident cases and will help you receive compensation for your injuries.

Contact us!