Do you find it difficult to see and manage some areas when driving your truck? That’s because every vehicle has some blind spots, which are not clearly visible from the rearview mirrors. These are also known as the no-zones of a vehicle. A car’s blind spots are somewhat manageable with some careful practices, but that’s not the case with trucks.
A truck’s no-zone is significantly larger than a car’s, making it much more challenging to manage. And you might be surprised to know that all four sides of this heavy vehicle can be its blind spots. But you can tackle the truck no-zone areas using assistive technologies, like blind-spot monitors. Let’s discuss that and more in this detailed guide on a truck’s no-zone!
What is a Truck’s No-Zone?
The truck blind spots, known as its no-zones, are the most vulnerable areas. Accidents are pretty common in these spots as they are not visible. Although every truck has side mirrors, they do not provide accurate results in the no-zone. So, how to avoid such collisions? The first thing is to learn what is a no-zone in driving.
Here are the four major no-zones of a truck:
- 20 ft within the front of a truck.
- 30 ft within the rear of a truck.
- Within one lane on the left side (driver side).
- Within two lanes on the right side (passenger side).
Let’s look at all of these no-zones in detail to provide you with a clearer picture.
The Right No-Zone (Passenger Side)
The most dangerous truck’s no-zone is the right side, also called the passenger side. Every car is advised to stay at least two lanes away from this side of a truck. Why is that? Well, because the right mirror is quite far away from the driver’s seat. Thus, the view of that area is unclear or completely blocked.
It is recommended that other car drivers look at the truck’s side mirror on the road. If the driver is not visible, that means they can’t see your car either. It is the largest blind spot known as the trucker’s no-zone.
The Left No-Zone (Driver’s Side)
Although it is less vulnerable than the right no-zone, the driver’s side is still a dangerous blind spot. This part of the road is also obstructed in a truck’s side mirrors. It is recommended that other cars not linger around the left no-zone for long. If there is a window to cross the large vehicle, let your car do so.
As a truck driver, it is advised to maintain a distance of at least one lane from other cars on your left. It will help minimize the chances of collisions or other fatal road accidents.
The Front No-Zone
The front can be a large truck’s no-zone. That is because smaller vehicles, like cars, disappear within 20 feet of the truck’s front bumper. This blind spot can cause severe accidents if you do not slow down. The only solution is to keep the distance of at least one car from your truck.
The Rear No-Zone
The rear is the no-brainer truck’s no-zone, as every vehicle directly behind can be invisible. The danger is even greater if it is a commercial truck carrying a container or trailer. In this case, the rearview mirror is useless, increasing the chances of rear collisions. As a truck driver, you should always double-check before reversing.
5 Tips To Handle a Truck’s No-Zone
Learning to work around your truck’s no-zone on the road is essential. Otherwise, you can hit smaller vehicles, resulting in severe collisions. Before going into details, there are some basic tips you should know.
Truck driver fatigue is a common phenomenon. It points to commercial drivers’ exhaustion as they must deliver certain containers, trailers, and shipments daily. That can cause fatal accidents as the driver would be less careful with fatigue, especially in the truck’s no-zone.
Additionally, wearing seatbelts and never driving under the influence are two primary rules. These should be considered by both truck and other vehicle drivers. That said, let’s look at the 5 most useful tips to manage your truck’s no-zone:
1. Keep Your Mirrors Positioned and Cleaned
Side mirrors can be a little helpful for trucks’ no-zone. They provide a small view, which can be utilized to make the right decision on the road. However, the first thing is to position your mirrors efficiently. Make sure they cover the maximum range to detect nearby vehicles.
Another thing to consider is to clean your side mirrors regularly. They can get blurry, muddy, or wet by the weather effects. Take a small piece of cloth and gently clean your mirrors after every drive in extreme weather conditions.
2. Double-check Your Truck Blind Spots
Always double-check your truck’s no-zone before changing your lane or turning. Also, the vehicle can be vulnerable when reversing or parking. Try checking from your window and side mirrors before making a move. This simple trick can prevent collisions with other cars.
3. Notify Your Next Move
Are you going to make a turn or change your lane? A truck driver must know the impact a wrong move can cause. That is why it is a MUST to signal your next move. Indicate that you are changing a lane or turning. It will let the other vehicles know your direction, and they can adjust beforehand.
4. Let the Others Pass
A semi or commercial truck is comparatively slower than modern cars. Hence, it is good to let other vehicles pass from your blind spots. The longer a car stays in a truck’s no-zone, the more chances of collisions there will be.
As a truck driver, if you see a vehicle entering your blind spot, give them space to leave. And as a car driver, if there is an opportunity to get out of the truck driver’s no-zone, do it quickly.
5. Use a Blind Spot Monitor
All the tips mentioned above are helpful to some extent. But the ultimate solution is to opt for a blind-spot monitoring system. It is an assistive driving system that warns of vehicles entering your semi truck’s no-zone. If you want to remain and keep others safe on the road, a blind-spot sensor system is the most efficient method.
How Does A Blind Spot Monitor Work In a Truck’ No-Zone?
The blind-spot monitoring system works in three steps. It monitors the road, detects a vehicle in the truck’s no-zone, and alerts the driver. But let’s look at that in detail to get a good understanding of its working mechanism.
1. Monitors The Road
The best part about the blind-spot monitor is that it remains active on the road. You do not have to interact with it in any way. Additionally, it is not affected by weather conditions, like rain or snow. The radar-based blind-spot sensors are safe from all outdoor elements. It keeps watch of your large truck’s no-zone when you are focused on driving.
2. Detects A Vehicle
If a car enters your truck’s no-zone, you are immediately alerted. Why is that? The radar-based system sends a signal that checks your truck’s blind spots. If a car is approaching, the system considers it a moving object. Thus, you are notified of its presence.
3. Alerts The Driver
Lastly, the blind-spot system issues an alert for the driver. It sends a signal in different forms, depending on the model. The notification can be a flashing light, audible chimes, beeps, or all of them combined. You can read your blind-spot monitor’s signaling mechanism from the manufacturer’s manual. Based on the alert, you can make the right decision.
To put it plainly, a blind-spot monitoring system solves the entire problem of a truck’s no-zone. It actively watches your blind spots for you and notifies you if there is a car. Note that you will find different models of blind-spot monitors. Each has a diverse coverage range, horizontally and vertically. It is vital to learn that before taking the assistive system out on the road.
Another thing you should know about blind-spot monitors is they do not alert you about non-moving objects. That can include parked cars, street lights, poles, and guard rails in your truck’s no-zone. But that is not a problem, as stationary objects are not that dangerous.
Now, you know what is a no-zone and how to avoid it. You can use this information when driving your truck next time. It will help you reduce the chances of collisions with other vehicles, ensuring your safety. Make sure to indicate your next move and let other cars get out of your blind spots when possible. Also, maintain your side mirrors to get the most out of them.
But the ultimate solution is to install a blind-spot monitoring system for your truck’s no-zone. Generally, these assistive systems are universal, meaning you can get one for any truck model. However, their features will distinguish them from each other. Find the one that fits your requirements as well as your budget, and drive confidently!