As a truck driver, you know that focus and awareness are necessary when you’re on the road. Today we’re going to focus on one of the most common issues for drivers: blind spots.
One of your responsibilities when behind the wheel driving loads for trucks is to recognize that other drivers may not realize your truck’s blind spots. Unfortunately, many people assume truckers can see everything because of your elevated position in the truck, but as you know, your truck has major blind spots. Nearly 1 million blind spot accidents occur across North America each year. We’ve put together some simple tips that you can use to help with blind spots.
Know Your Blind Spots + Some Tips to Keep You Safe
It will come as no shock that an accident involving a truck and a passenger can be devasting.
Many semi-truck crashes are sideswipe collisions, typically when a trucker drifts into an adjacent lane. Cut down the possibility of a wreck by implementing the following practices.
First, familiarize yourself with the four tractor-trailers blind spots:
- One directly behind the vehicle
- One directly in front of the truck
- One on either side of the vehicle – adjacent to the side mirrors
As a commercial trucker driving truck loads, you have been trained to survey the traffic around you regularly as well as to check blind spots before turning or changing lanes, but it’s no secret that fatigue or distractions can cause truckers to forget about their blind spots.
- Pay Attention to Your Mirrors: It’s impossible to avoid blind spots, but adequately adjusting your mirrors can help immensely. Rear mirrors should see directly behind the vehicle, and side mirrors should only show the road behind, not of the sides of your truck.
- Add Warning Signs: Remember how we said many drivers of regular cars don’t realize that truckers have blind spots? Many truckers use signage to alert other drivers of their danger zones. Adding signs to the back of your tractor-trailer can help keep other drivers around you attentive.
- Signal Well Ahead of Time: Use your turn signals long before you make a lane change; this should get other drivers’ attention and provide time to make their move.
- Make Lane Changes Slowly: Ease into a lane change so that other drivers have a chance to alert you if you’re crossing into a blind spot.
- Get Blind Spot Detection Systems: There are products available that will flash a light or make an alerting sound when someone is in the blind spot. Check out some options and see what may be a good fit for your truck.
We hope you’ll take these tips can help you as you head out on the road so that you and those around you can arrive to your destination safely.