In certain parts of the United States, trucks have been involved in more than 9000 vehicle crashes per year. That number is way too high. And sadly, if truck no zones had been adhered to (as well as other simple steps taken), many of these crashes could have been avoided.
Even though semi-trucks tower over most other modes of transportation, their weight and size present them with a distinct disadvantage. Being way up there doesn’t necessarily mean that they have a great view of all that is happening around them. Quite the contrary, in fact, because they have a number of blind spots. These can also be called “no zones”.
No Zones for Semi-Trucks/Trailers
FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Administration) coined the term “no zone”. It refers to the large spots around bigger, commercial trucks in which smaller vehicles cannot be clearly seen by the truck driver (if at all). A truck has four no zones. Let’s take a look at each of them, individually.
The No Zone in the Rear
Behind a semi-trailer is a significant no zone or blind spot. Stay out of the area behind a tractor-trailer extending 200 feet past its rear end. Truck drivers have no idea that you are behind them if you are within that spot and are following too closely. If that tractor-trailer stops and you can’t, you’re going to find yourself underneath it. This is going to result in death or serious injury to you (and possibly even the semi driver).
The No Zone in the Front
Even though they are way up high, semi drivers cannot see you if you are too close to the front of their vehicle (the cab). How close is too close? Beyond the truck’s cab, the no zone extends as much as 20 feet. If you have to stop suddenly, the driver won’t see it and could possibly ram right into you. That could leave you sandwiched between a semi and another vehicle – maybe even another semi.
The No Zone to the Left
This is the smallest no zone but a dangerous one nonetheless. Here’s a good way to judge whether or not you are in the left no zone. The driver of the truck most likely cannot see you if you cannot see the mirrors on the tractor-trailer.
The No Zone on the Right
Of all of the no zones, or blind spots, this is the largest. It starts right around the truck’s passenger side door and can extend as far back as three traffic lanes. It also extends, to the right of the truck, outward for a couple of lanes. And this is why remaining in this no zone, or passing a truck on the right, is not recommended. If the driver of the truck cannot see you, and they have to make a wide, unexpected right turn, you’re going to get trapped or hit.
In the United States alone, tractor-trailers number well over 2 million and commercial trucks well over 15.5 million. We all stand a better chance of keeping safe if we take just a few, simple, precautionary steps. Whenever possible, stay out of truck no zones. And when passing a semi-truck/trailer, try to always do so on the left.
Mickey Genuine Parts wants everyone – truckers and passenger vehicle drivers – to be safe out there. That’s why we deal with high-quality parts and offer top-of-the-line repairs at our certified service centers. When you want the best, you go with Mickey Genuine Parts. Everything we sell and every service we provide carries the Mickey guarantee. Contact us today and speak to one of our reliable customer service representatives to find out more.