We all share the roads with commercial trucks and, as such, we must all drive responsibly and follow the ways of the road. This is why all drivers must be aware of truck’s No-zones, which are the areas near a semi-truck’s side and rear where cars disappear into blind spots and can no longer be seen. It is important to be aware of these zones due to the fact that a potential hazard can be posed if a lane change becomes necessary. In 1991, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enacted the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act to educate the driving public about how to share the road with trucks and buses in the safety way possible. In 1994, the “No-Zone” or “Share the Road” program came to be. These programs increase awareness of these zones and help reduce deaths, injuries, and property damage that stems from the accidents.
Because of the dangers they pose, every driver must beware of no-zones. However, there are various types of no-zones you must be aware of. This includes the following:
- Side No-Zone: Trucks and buses have large blind spots on both sides and are much larger than your car’s blind spots. This means, if you can’t see the driver’s face in the side-view mirror, the driver will not be able to see you.
- Rear No-Zone: Trucks and buses also have no-zones behind them. This means that they will not be able to see you there and you will not be able to see what’s going on ahead of you. You must pay close attention so that you have somewhere to go if the bus driver brakes or stops suddenly. You should also remember to never cross behind a truck that is backing up.
- Front No-Zone: You should never cut in front of a bus or truck too soon after passing, for they will be forced to slam on their brakes. They will need nearly twice the time and room to stop as cars. This means that you should always look for the whole front of the truck on your rear-view mirror before pulling in front. And do not slow down!
- Wide Right Turns: Truck and bus drivers may need to swing wide to the left in order to make a right turn, and due to this, they will not be able to see cars behind or beside them. This is why you should never try to “squeeze” in between the commercial vehicle and the curb.
So, you may ask, how do you minimize your own blind spots? How can you be safe when sharing the roadways with trucks and buses? Mirrors can be your best friends when it comes to trying to reduce these spots. Here are some ways that you can adjust your mirrors to minimize your chances of an accident:
- Driver-side Mirror: When you sit with your hands on the steering wheel, lean to the left. Then adjust the mirror until your car appears on the inside edge of the reflected image.
- Passenger-side Mirror: Lean your head toward the center of the vehicle and adjust until the right side of the car appears on the inside edge of the mirror.
- Adjustment Testing: Hit the road and test the adjustments. If a car passes you, it should appear in the outside mirror before leaving the rearview mirror.
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Truck and bus no-zones can be extremely dangerous if you or the other drivers don’t know what you are looking for. This is why it is in your best interest to always be prepared for anything that can happen on the roadways. If you have been injured in an accident involving a truck, bus, or another passenger vehicle, you should have an attorney on your side that you can trust. Call Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi today to find out more.