Semi-trucks are a very common feature on roadways across Oklahoma and the United States, and it is important to know how to maneuver around them. Semi-trucks are very different from regular passenger vehicles, and understanding these differences is key to driving safely.
For example, semi-trucks have different blind spots as compared to a regular passenger vehicle. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, these blind spots are very large and referred to as no-zones.
Where are the no-zones?
There are four no-zones surrounding a semi-truck. The blind spot in front of a semi-truck may extend for 20 feet. The blind spot behind a semi-truck is approximately 30 feet. There are also large blind spots on either side of the truck. The blind spot on the left side of a truck eclipses one lane of traffic, while on the right side of the truck it spans for two entire lanes.
Understanding the location and size of the no-zones can help you drive much safer around these large, heavy vehicles.
How can I use this information to help me be safe?
First, it is very important to never pass a semi-truck on the right side. Since the blind spot on this side of the truck is so large, this can be very hazardous. Always pass a semi-truck on the left.
Additionally, it is wise to give semi-trucks a large berth both in front and behind. This is not just due to the blind spots, but also to the weight of the semi-truck. Semi-trucks need more room to stop than a regular passenger vehicle. You do not want to accidentally cut one off.