On the written test for your driver’s license you will probably see one or two questions about sharing the road with a truck. Many studies have shown that new drivers are unaware of the limitations and capabilities of large trucks. This is why you need to pay some extra attention to this chapter in your manual.
Generally speaking, the larger the truck the more room it needs to maneuver and stop. Never try to cut in front of a large truck. Always allow extra space when you pass or follow a truck.
A truck’s blind spot is also a popular subject in written tests. Never drive in a truck’s blind spots (No-Zone). Even though the blind spots are different on different trucks, remember that the blind spots are much larger than on a passenger car.
Long trucks have a large blind spot reaching up to 200 feet directly behind them.
On the left side there is a blind spot that runs from behind the cab to just behind the driver.
On the right side the blind spot is much larger than on the left side.
Trucks with high hoods have a blind spot of up to 25 feet in front of the truck. Stretching to the right side.
Handbooks or manuals in some states will say: If you can’t see the truck’s mirrors, the truck driver can’t see you. Some go even further to say if you can’t see the truck driver’s face in his mirrors, he can’t see you. Never think it is the truck driver’s responsibility to make sure nobody’s driving in the truck’s blind spots.
You should also remember that if you are following a truck that swings left before making a right turn at an
intersection, it is very dangerous to squeeze between the truck and curb to make a right turn. Try to always pass a truck on the left side.
A study conducted by the AAA Foundation found that in collisions involving cars and trucks, the driver of the car was at fault 73 % of the time.
Other studies have shown that:
- Passenger-car drivers are four times more likely to rear-end a truck than truckers are to rear-end cars.
- Non-commercial drivers are 10 times more likely to crash into a truck head-on than vice versa.
- Passenger-car drivers are three times more likely to speed in poor road conditions (such as rain) than truck drivers.
- Non-commercial drivers are eight times more likely to be involved in crashes involving drowsiness.