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Stay out of the 'no zone'

It's not always possible to protect yourself from every danger on the road. But when you're sharing the highway with big-rig trucks, staying visible to truck drivers can help you avoid potentially catastrophic accidents.

Every vehicle has certain blind spots, where other drivers become temporarily invisible to truck drivers. Because of their large size, trucks have much bigger blind spots than passenger vehicles. These blind spots are called 'no zones' -- with the 'no' meaning that you should not spend time driving there. Obviously if you need to pass a truck, you won't be able to avoid moving through a side no zone. But by staying aware that the truck can't see you when you're passing, and moving swiftly into a safer, more visible area, you could help avoid a collision that could prove catastrophic to you, your passengers and even the truck driver.

No zones exist on either side of a truck, and at close range directly behind and in front of trucks. Furthermore, trucks don't have rear view mirrors, further limiting drivers' ability to see other vehicles. The following tips can help you stay safe when sharing a road with large trucks:

  • If you need to pass at truck, signal and pass quickly.
  • Don't pass a truck (or any car) on the right.
  • Don't drive directly behind a truck.
  • After passing, don't merge in front of a truck until you can see the whole truck in your rear view mirror.
  • When merging in front of a truck on a highway, make sure you have enough room and accelerate adequately so the truck doesn't have to brake to accommodate you.

Unfortunately you can be the best driver in the world and still get in an accident with a truck. Poor weather conditions, fog, obstacles in the road, driver error and other things can also contribute to accidents on the road. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, speak with a personal injury lawyer who has experience handling these kinds of cases, which can sometimes be complicated and require extensive investigation.

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