Commercial drivers operating semi-trucks have to pay very close attention to the flow of traffic nearby. Big trucks like 18-wheelers take much longer to come to a complete stop or to change their speed than smaller passenger vehicles, which means that commercial drivers must watch very carefully if they want to avoid causing a preventable collision.
Unfortunately, that responsibility is quite difficult to fulfill in part because commercial trucks have such large blind spots. It is quite common, especially during times with heavy traffic volumes, for motorists to end up stuck in a truck’s blind spots. There is risk when a semi-truck cannot see someone else in traffic and also risk caused by the semi-truck affecting other people’s observation of the road.
Truck drivers can’t see around the trailer
The large blind spots for a truck extend around the trailer rather than the cab where the driver sits. Even with extra mirrors attached to the cab of the vehicle, the driver may have a difficult time seeing anyone to the left of the trailer, particularly if they are close to the rear axle of the trailer. The two lanes to the right of the trailer can also be a major blind spot on a multi-lane road. Finally, the truck driver will have a hard time spotting anyone who is directly behind their trailer. That location is also where other motorists will have a hard time observing traffic nearby.
Other drivers can’t see around semi-trucks
Someone behind a semi-truck in traffic may want to pass the vehicle as quickly as possible, as they often travel at lower speeds than smaller vehicles. Unfortunately, passing a semi-truck in heavy traffic isn’t always a safe choice. Drivers usually cannot see around the truck to detect oncoming traffic. They may then attempt to pass the truck, only to either cut it off or end up swerving off the road because of an approaching vehicle. The more space that motorists can give commercial trucks in traffic, the less likely they are to end up hurt in a preventable wreck.