Parker Waichman LLP

As the backbone of the transportation industry, tractor-trailer trucks play a crucial role in moving goods across vast distances. However, the sheer size and weight of these vehicles bring with them a unique set of challenges and safety concerns, particularly concerning blind spots known as “No-Zones.” No-Zones are areas around trucks where crashes are more likely to occur, posing significant risks to both truck drivers and other road users.

This article delves into the intricacies of No-Zones, shedding light on the specific blind spots that surround tractor-trailer trucks.

No-Zones: No-Zones are areas where crashes are more likely to occur. These zones consist of blind spots around tractor-trailers in which cars and other vehicles vanish from the sight of truck drivers. Tractor-trailers have big No-Zones (blind spots) on both sides which are much larger than a regular car’s blind spots. When truck drivers swerve or change lanes, cars can be in extreme danger.

Side No Zones: Trucks have blind spots along the left and right sides where a passenger vehicle can disappear from view. If you can’t see the truck driver’s face in the side mirror, most likely the truck driver cannot see you. Even if the driver can see you, he or she may need to change lanes quickly if there is an obstacle ahead. To avoid a major accident, never stay beside a tractor-trailer truck.

Rear No-Zones: Trucks have huge Rear No-Zones directly behind them. A truck driver cannot see cars there, and car drivers cannot see what is going on in front of them. If the tractor-truck driver brakes or stops suddenly, the car driver may end up running into the tractor-trailer.

Front No-Zones: Passenger vehicles can be rear-ended by a truck if they cut in front too soon after passing, and then immediately slow down. Big rig trucks need roughly twice the amount of time and room to stop as cars.

Off track: Off track is a term used when a tractor-trailer truck turns at a high speed and sways into an adjacent lane without warning. Due to trucks’ no-zones, if an automobile, SUV, or van is traveling too close, the truck’s 10,000 pounds of metal can enter the other lane with extreme force.

Squeeze plays: Tractor-trailer trucks have to swing wide towards the left before making a right turn. When a truck driver makes a wide right turn, he/she is unable to see smaller vehicles directly to the side or in the rear. For instance, when a car cuts between the truck and a curb, the car can be caught in a squeeze, and a serious accident can occur. Squeeze plays are also referred to as swing turns.

Stopping Distance: The weight and size of tractor-trailer trucks make them less maneuverable. It is more difficult for drivers to stop in an emergency because big rig trucks need more stopping distance than other vehicles. Based upon data from the National Safety Council’s Defensive Driving Course for Professional Truck Drivers, the stopping distance for an 80,000-pound tractor-trailer, traveling at only 30 mph on a dry, level road is 100 feet.

Sudden Braking Without Antilock Brake System: This can make the wheels lock, forcing the truck to jack-knife, skid, or overturn. Antilock brakes are now mandatory on all new tractor-trailers, help drivers maintain control and avoid skids during hard braking. Therefore proper distance in-between trucks and other vehicles on the road is a must.

Contact Truck Accidents Law Firm today if you or a loved one were injured in an accident with a tractor-trailer. We will review your case free of charge, and we don’t get paid unless we win or settle your case.