Commercial trucks have terrible visibility. A semi truck's blind spots are so notoriously bad that we have a special word to describe them. “The No-Zone” is a place of zero visibility around large trucks. Truly understanding truck safety and preventing these terrible accidents starts by asking one question: Where is a truck’s No-Zone?
Front and Back
The no-zone is not a perfect radius around a truck. It’s not even consistent in any single direction. While many trucks have signs stating, “I can’t see you if you can’t see me,” even those are often incorrect. Understanding when a truck driver can see surrounding vehicles requires specific information.
The No-Zone starts 30ft behind a truck, meaning they can’t see anyone three car lengths behind them. For that reason, drivers should always give trucks additional space, especially if they intend to pass the vehicle on either side. Someone driving too close will go unseen when they pull out, making the truck driver unsure whether it’s safe to merge into another lane.
Likewise, a truck driver cannot see the first 20ft in front of their vehicle. For that reason, anyone merging directly in front of a large truck puts themselves in serious danger. If a truck driver does not see the car in front of them, they may be less judicious in using their brakes, believing they have extra space to slow down safely.
Side to Side
It is safest to pass a large truck on the left. The No-Zone is much smaller on the drivers’ side, giving the truck driver a wider window to notice an approaching vehicle. Most importantly, the driver’s side No-Zone only stretches across one lane.
The passenger's side No-Zone is both longer and wider, stretching across two lanes like an acute triangle. A vehicle can spend more time on the left side without being noticed, especially if they cross two lanes to pass the truck on the left.
In any case, the best thing drivers can do is give trucks a little extra space and identify the no-zone before attempting to pass or merge. Traffic safety is a shared responsibility. If everyone understood how a truck’s No-Zone works, we could prevent hundreds of thousands of fatal accidents each year.
If you or someone you love suffered severe injuries or even wrongful death in a commercial truck accident, let us take the burden off your shoulders. If you’d like to talk to an experienced Missouri personal injury attorney from Kolker Law Firm to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (314) 684-8285.