Large commercial vehicles are affected by what is known as “no zones” or major blind spots that cause the vehicles around them to “disappear.”
To publicize the dangers of blind spots, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (previously the Federal Highway Administration) began the "No-Zone" or "Share the Road" Program in 1994; this was a respond to Congress directing them to educate the public about sharing the road with trucks and buses. This program was designed to increase awareness about these no-zones, which are the truck's major blind spots or areas around the trucks where other vehicles "disappear."
Side No-Zone: This is the area to either side of the truck, which is significantly larger than a regular car's blind spots. To avoid a side No-Zone, drivers should avoid hanging out next to a truck—especially on the right, where the No-Zone is larger. As a general rule of thumb, if you can't see the driver in the side-view mirror, they cannot see you.
Rear No-Zone: Tailgating is bad driver behavior with any vehicle, but can be especially dangerous with large commercial trucks where the truck driver cannot see your car behind them. Keep in mind that truckers do not have the benefit of a rear-view mirror as the trailer blocks it; instead, they have to rely on side-view mirrors.
Front No-Zone: Due to their large size, it takes considerably longer for a truck to come to a complete stop; in fact, many of them need twice as long as a regular passenger vehicle. For this reason, drivers should always avoid swerving or "cutting" in front of a truck as it could result in a rear-end accident.
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Making a right turn in an 18-wheeler involves different mechanics than usual. To successfully make the turn, truck drivers will need to swing far left and then cut hard to the right. For this reason, passenger vehicles should never try to squeeze in between the truck and the curb on their right. Remember, that truckers cannot easily see vehicles to their right.
If you have been involved in an accident that involved a No-Zone, do not hesitate to call us today.