Blind Spots – Learn Them and Live

Did you know there were four blind spots or “no zones” surrounding a tractor trailer that the driver of the truck cannot see objects from the drivers seat?

Any vehicle driven has blind spots – but today I will only discuss those found around a tractor trailer. Car and pick-up and motorcycle drivers/riders often get caught up in these spots and get run over by the truck.

If (4wheeler drivers) would learn how dangerous these four spots are, and stay out of the blind spots there would be a lot less accidents on the road today.

A blind spot in a vehicle are areas around the vehicle that cannot be directly observed under existing circumstances. Blind spots exist in a wide range of vehicles: cars, trucks, motorboats and aircraft. After a couple of videos that have shown up recently, of car vs tractor trailer accidents – in which both truck drivers were not at fault. I thought it might be a good idea to talk a little about blind spots.

Here is one video, and an excerpt from a UK news site. Although this happened in Yorkshire, UK it could very easily happen in the US, and often does.

At the time of the accident, the police were called and said there would be no further action, a decision that was reversed on the appearance of video footage on the Internet. Following a reconstruction, the police concluded that there was no way Tomlinson could have seen the car, says Bell. The traffic commissioner also noted that the fact that the Clio had undertaken the tanker was a factor in the accident taking place.

In the above video – the car didn’t get clear of the truck while attempting to pass – the car came over in front of the truck to soon and the car spun around in front of the truck. I know it’s hard for people to believe that a truck driver would not see this happen or even feel it, but it’s true. A loaded truck especially because the truck weighs so much more than the car that it would feel like a small bump in the road. And one of the blind spots around a truck is directly in front so it was impossible to see that the car was right up against the truck.

Now with this video below I posted a few days ago, you can see what happens when a car cuts the truck off, and gets jammed up in the front right wheel of the truck causing it to veer hard to the left and cross the concrete barrier into oncoming traffic. I have received several messages wondering why the truck veered hard towards the concrete barrier. Well, it’s simple as the car hit the truck in the front right wheel/tire area, it made the wheel turn instantly in the opposite direction which in this case was to the left. Causing the truck to hit and go over the barrier turning over in the opposite lanes of travel.

[stream provider=video flv=x:/www.truckdriversnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Caught-on-tape_-18-wheeler-crashes-on-Tollway-_-wfaa.com-_-Dallas-Fort-Worth-Local-News1.mp4 embed=false share=false width=450 height=253 dock=true controlbar=over skin=stormtrooper.zip bandwidth=high autostart=false /]

Here I will post an image of the blind spots located around a tractor trailer. The dark shaded areas in the image you should avoid if there is any way possible. These areas are impossible to see from the drivers seat. The one directly to the back of the truck is completely impossible to see – without some sort of camera and TV screen – in which would be a distraction in the drivers cab and could cause an accident in itself. A good “rule of thumb” while following a tractor trailer – if you can’t see both mirrors on the truck – the right one and the left one from behind the truck – then the driver of the truck cannot see you.

There are many reasons not to “ride in a truck’s blind spot.” One being the truck is very big and takes a lot of room to maneuver from lane to lane. If the truck has something happen right in front of it, and needs to make a quick move – if you are beside the truck in its blind spot – then you will get run over because the driver would not be able to see you.

Another reason for you not to ride in the blind spot located on either the right side or the left side of a truck is because usually a tractor trailer has 18 tires nine per side. Any tire not including the steering tires can be a recap tire – meaning it is a used tire, but has been recapped with new tread. But that tread can separate and fly off and that can kill you or at least cause severe damage to your car. I’m not saying new tires don’t blow out because they do. It’s cheaper for a company to run a recap tire than to replace with a new tire. But some tractor trailers now are equipped with only ten tires eight of those tires are called “super singles.” These can be a recap as well. These blow apart and cause injury or death as well.

Something a lot of people don’t think about. What if the truck were to run over some debris in the road? It would generally pick that item up and throw it in any direction, which can also kill you or cause significant damage to your vehicle. Another thing to consider is brake drums from tractor trailers get hot and crack and fly apart – from the heat which builds from using the brakes – when the brakes are applied. These can and will fly apart and that can be a chunk of metal weighing over 100 hundred pounds trust me, I am speaking from experience. I don’t have to tell you what that would do if it hit you or your vehicle.

Often car drivers will “lallygag” while trying to pass a tractor trailer. And often this gets them into a situation that could do them more harm than the chance of a speeding ticket in which I’m sure if the cop saw and understood why you were speeding around a truck – would not write a ticket. I have also heard people complain about trucks not using their turn signals – when trying to move over into another lane. But usually it is the fact that the car didn’t see one of the five or six turn signals on a tractor trailer flashing – this is easily understood during the daytime. Now some trucking companies have started adding a turn signal below the mirror to help jeep this from happening.

If you as a car driver learn to stay out of the blind spots located around a tractor trailer then it would be a lot safer for all of us out on the road. Trust me any tractor trailer driver on the road today would much rather get to his or her destination without incident, and hopes you will get to yours without incident as well.

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I'm just a EX-truck driver, trying to pass along a little information. I been in the Trucking Industry as a driver for over 15 years. I have driven both as an owner operator and as a company driver. I have also been a driver instructor for an accredited truck driving school in KY. I am no longer a truck driver, but I consider myself to be a watchdog for the trucking industry. In fact this site is the #1 site for getting the real news about trucking. We don't hold back here, you will hear the full story. Twitter | Contact Me |Truck Drivers News Facebook
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2 Responses to Blind Spots – Learn Them and Live

  1. Donal Lyons says:

    You might be interested in a system we have prototyped here to monitor the Blind Spots and the normal mirror view on the Passenger Side Of Heavy Goods Vehicles.It can be used on Left or Right Hand Drive Vehicles,installs in 10 minutes,is completely portable and works on 12 or 24 Volts.We are based in Ireland.

  2. Donal Lyons says:

    I neglected to provide a link to a You Tube Presentation of the Blind Spot System above which we have called SideView.The presentation can be found here :

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