What is a Truck’s No-Zone?
While a car only has blind spots to each side, trucks also have blind spots close to the front (due to the height) and to the rear (due to carrying a load blocking the rear).
The blind spots of a truck are commonly referred to as ‘No Zones’ – referring to the danger of driving there. The driver won’t see you in those spots, and you shouldn’t stay in them for longer than necessary.
A general rule is that if you’re unable to see the truck driver in their side mirror, he/she won’t be able to see you either.
The Four No-Zones Around Trucks
Each truck has, at all times, 4 no-zones:
- Front no-zones – approximately 20-25 ft
- Rear no-zones – approximately 200 ft
- Side no-zones (right) – covers approximately 2 lanes
- Side no-zones (left) – covers approximately 1 lane
The right side blind spot is larger than the left due to the positioning of the driver.
The Rear No-Zone when Driving Behind Trucks
Driving closely behind trucks can be dangerous for two reasons:
- You’re most likely driving in the truck’s blind spot
- You won’t be able to see the road ahead or have time to react if the truck needs to stop
Increase the following distance when driving behind trucks – Don’t drive in the no-zone!
Beware of Trucks and Wide Turns
Trucks and buses may need to use more than one lane to turn, or turn “wide” to complete a right turn – be careful and look at the turn signals before passing.
Even if a truck is positioned in the left lane and appears to be turning left, it may just be preparing for a right-hand turn by swinging wide. This type of manoeuvre is commonly referred to as a “right turn squeeze”.
A truck may need to swerve to the left in order to safely complete a right turn
How to Pass Large Trucks and Avoid No-Zones
We all know the driving behind trucks can be frustrating and sometimes even scary depending on your skills as a driver. And what’s more, you don’t want to pull in too close in front of a truck due to the front no-zone.
Here are 3 safety tips when passing a truck:
- Make sure you have more than enough distance to pass safely before pulling out.
- Complete the maneuver quickly and avoid remaining in a truck’s blind spot for longer than necessary.
- Don’t cut in too soon after passing a truck – you should see the whole front of the vehicle before returning to your lane.
Don’t cut in too close after passing a truck!
And That’s It
It’s very important that you know how to safely share the road with trucks since there’s a lot of them on the roads and they won’t be disappearing anytime soon.
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