What You Should Know About Large Truck and Bus “No Zones”
No-Zones are blind spot areas around large trucks and buses where passenger vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians virtually “disappear” from the view of the driver. These are also the areas where accidents involving large commercial vehicles are most likely to happen. Identifying and avoiding the no-zones around large vehicles can help drivers steer clear of truck and bus accidents.
The front No-Zone area extends nearly 20 ft. ahead of a large vehicle. Due to their large size, trucks or buses take nearly twice as long to come to a complete stop as a regular passenger vehicle. Stopping abruptly in front of a bus or 18-wheeler can result in a serious accident. Drivers should also be careful not to cut too closely in front of trucks and buses when passing or changing lanes. Cutting too closely in front of the large vehicle could result in a rear-end accident. When traveling in front of a large vehicle, it’s a good idea to allow a distance of one car length for every 10 mph.
Trucks and buses have large blind spots on both sides, but the no-zone is larger on the right side of the vehicle. It angles out from the front of the truck or bus and extends over two more lanes. If a driver can’t see the trucker or bus driver in the large vehicle’s side mirror, it means that driver likely can’t see them.
Wide Right Turn No-Zone
Making a turn in a large commercial vehicle involves different mechanics. Because of their enormous size, big vehicles often require a larger turning radius, especially when turning right. Oftentimes, the driver will need to swing wide to the left and then cut hard to the right to successfully make a turn. As such, passenger vehicles should never try to pass on the right because the drivers cannot easily see vehicles that pull into the truck’s turning angle.
Large trucks have no rear-view mirror so the drivers have to rely on side-view mirrors. This results in a large blind spot that extends about 200 ft. from the back of the vehicle. Driving in this area decreases the reaction time if the truck reacts to a hazard and stop suddenly.