Driving Safely Near Large Trucks

Every day, motorists share the streets and highways with large commercial vehicles. Unfortunately, collisions involving smaller passenger vehicles and tractor-trailers occur all too often and commonly result in serious injuries or death. While some such accidents cannot be prevented, others result from factors such as the operating limitations of large trucks. 

Blind spots present a significant operating challenge for truckers. Understanding these blind spots and how to avoid them may help drivers keep themselves, their passengers and others safe when sharing the road with tractor-trailers. 

What is the no zone? 

The term no zone refers to commercial motor vehicles’ large blind spots. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, these blind spots extend up to 20 feet in front of large trucks and as much as 30 feet behind them. Additionally, truckers may have limited visibility extending through one traffic lane to their left and two traffic lanes to their right. 

How can drivers avoid getting caught in blind spots? 

When sharing the road with large trucks, motorists should take care to avoid the no zone to help prevent involvement in potentially serious accidents. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, when traveling in the no zone, truck operators may have no view of other vehicles. Therefore, drivers should take care not to tailgate large trucks. Doing so may put them in the rear blind spot, which could result in a crash if the truck must unexpectedly slow or stop. When passing tractor-trailers, drivers should use the left side to maximize their visibility and ensure they have ample space to complete the maneuver safely and without having to cut in too soon.