Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Don't count on the trucker seeing your car

Pennsylvania drivers should always do a quick head check in addition to looking in their mirrors before changing lanes, turning or merging. For truck drivers, though, simply looking may not be enough. The Truckers Report notes that a semi-truck's blind spots are so large, even a careful truck operator could miss a smaller vehicle in the tractor-trailer's path.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration points out that passenger vehicle drivers can reduce their chances of a collision with a large truck significantly by recognizing the blind spots and staying out of them. 

In front and back

It may seem as if a truck driver should be able to see the road ahead better from the high vantage point of the driver's seat. There's an area ahead of the truck that's concealed by its front, though. In general, drivers should assume that if they're within 20 feet of the truck's front bumper, the trucker can't see their vehicle. They may also be invisible to the trucker if they are in the area within 30 feet behind the tractor-trailer. 

The sides

A semi-truck may have a sign on the side or rear of the vehicle warning other drivers that if they can't see the truck operator in his or her side mirrors, the trucker likely can't see them, either. While people may think to check when coming up on the left side of a truck, on the right side there is also a significant blind spot, and not just for the lane directly beside the tractor-trailer.

Someone in the next lane over, or in the process of merging into the lane beside the truck, should remember to check whether the vehicle is hidden in the truck's blind spot. If so, the trucker could decide to move into the same lane that the smaller vehicle is moving into. To avoid a collision, the driver of the passenger vehicle should always be wary of moving into the spaces on either side of the truck.

 

 

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
20 Stanwix Street, Seventh Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Toll Free: 866-466-5789
Phone: 412-567-1232
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