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Understanding a Truck’s “No-Zone”: Avoiding Accidents in Ohio

HomeBlogCar AccidentUnderstanding a Truck’s “No-Zone”: Avoiding Accidents in Ohio

Understanding a Truck’s “No-Zone”: Avoiding Accidents in Ohio

January 11, 2022
By Lafferty Gallagher Scott

You know that your vehicle has blind spots and that you are supposed to check them before changing lanes. Large commercial tractor-trailers also have blind spots, and it should not surprise you that these blind spots are much larger than your typical commuter vehicle. This creates an additional safety challenge that can lead to accidents between cars and semi-trucks. In fact, auto safety advocates have identified a “no zone” that all drivers must be aware of when they are driving alongside a large tractor-trailer.

While commuters can look over their shoulder to check their blind spots, tractor-trailer drivers have no such luxury. This spurred the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) to publish the “no zone” literature. Essentially, it is meant to inform drivers about the perils of driving alongside major trucks.

The Four No-Zones of Tractor-Trailers

Trucks essentially have a radius of blindness around them, but it is not exactly circular. The actual shape would look something like a deformed oval. The truck driver has better visibility to the left side than to the right side because his driving seat is situated to the left. Additionally, truck drivers have better visibility in front of them than behind them.

  • Front no-zone – Truck drivers are instructed not to drive too closely to drivers. If you have a truck that is tailgating, you want to move away from it as quickly as possible. If traffic slows, the truck driver will not have enough time to slow down, and a serious accident will result. So, just get out of the truck’s way and avoid it like the plague. There is no excuse for aggressively operating a tractor-trailer.
  • Back no-zone – This is where you want to be really careful. The driver of the truck cannot see you there, so they will not be considering you when they attempt to change lanes or stop. Do not tailgate tractor-trailers. You do not want to test how effective their underride guards are. Drivers who get wedged under commercial trucks tend to lose their heads.
  • Lateral no-zones – If you are driving alongside a large commercial truck, that truck driver cannot see you unless you can see the driver’s eyes. The truck driver has better visibility on the left side than the right. You should assume that if you are one lane left of the driver, they cannot see you. The blind spot is larger to his right. Cars may be invisible to a truck driver two lanes right of their truck.

Safe Driving and No-Zones

Aside from saying obvious things like “don’t cut off tractor-trailers” and “avoid tailgating tractor-trailers,” the trick to safely avoiding truck accidents is to be aware that you are in a truck’s no-zone and then get out of it. So, if you are pulling up alongside a tractor-trailer, there is a good chance the driver cannot see you. A personal injury lawsuit is a poor substitute for avoiding a potentially life-altering accident. Stay alert and do not assume the other drivers know you are there.

Talk to an Ohio Truck Accident Lawyer Today

Lafferty, Gallagher, & Scott file lawsuits on behalf of those injured in commercial trucking accidents. Call today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your options for recovery.

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