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A Truck’s “No-zone” Areas

A Truck’s “No-zone” Areas

A semi-trailer truck, also called 18-wheeler or big rig, is about 70 feet long and weighs about 80,000 lbs. – that’s around 20 to 30 times heavier than passenger cars. Due to its size and length, a semi-trailer requires not only heavy-duty and high-quality tires, but also 20% to 40% more road surface to be able to stop. Any lighter vehicle that stands in its path when it is on the move or when its brakes fail to work can easily be damaged like tin can.

Though its size serves as a really big threat to smaller and lighter vehicles, this does not ensure its driver automatic safety in case of an accident. In fact, from 1992 – 1995, compared to any other occupation in the U.S., truck drivers had a higher total number of work-related deaths. The major cause of so many truck accidents (during those times) was lack of knowledge among drivers of lighter vehicles on how to maneuver and drive properly when sharing the road with trucks.

Semi-trailers are subject to various federal and state laws to ensure their safe operation. Some of these laws, which are enforced by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA), include the maximum number of hours of service (HOS) of commercial drivers, limitations on truck length, skills required of truck drivers and the exams they need to pass when applying for a commercial driver’s license.

Skillful driving and constant awareness are necessary when driving a commercial vehicle as long as a semi-trailer due to it “no zone” areas or blind spots. “No zones” of blind spots are areas around a truck where smaller vehicles become invisible to a truck driver. Not being aware of the presence of smaller vehicles on these areas, a driver often commits the mistake of maneuvering the truck, hitting the vehicle in the process. There are four blind spots around trucks:

  • Front: For whatever reason, some drivers (of smaller vehicles) have the very bad habit of cutting in front of a truck and then immediately slowing down after passing it. This is one very dangerous move which invites nothing less than a tragic accident that can result to severe injuries or death.
  • Rear: The length and width of a truck will render its driver to fail to notice smaller vehicles tailgating it. Besides not being able to see any danger ahead, a driver of a smaller vehicle may also have nowhere else to go but under the truck if it suddenly tries to stop or slow down.
  • Sides: Two other areas that drivers of smaller vehicles should totally avoid are the sides of semi-trailers, especially the right or the passenger side, where truck drivers can totally fail to notice them. Also, if a truck driver needs to change lane or swerve to the right, this can be big trouble to the smaller vehicle.

As explained in the website of the Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group, however, truck drivers are well trained in monitoring their vehicle’s four blind spots, known as “no-zones,” serious accidents can result if they do not take adequate precaution to check these areas before changing lanes or turning. While such accidents are preventable with proper training, unfortunately, they are extremely common.

Because the consequences of truck accidents are frequently devastating, resulting to life-threatening health problems, costly medical treatment, and time away from work, Houston personal injury lawyers of Williams Kherkher advises injured victims (or their families) to file a lawsuit against the negligent party to get financial compensation for suffering and losses.

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