Truck driving on a road

Common Truck Blindspots and How to Avoid Them

By Steven Pittman
Partner

It can be intimidating to drive anywhere near a truck, especially if you’re in a smaller car. After all, when driving, it’s important to not only be careful but also pay attention to the actions of surrounding vehicles.

However, trucks have significantly larger blindspots than smaller vehicles, and this can make accidents more likely. It’s important to be aware of common truck blindspots and to know how to avoid them if you can. 

What exactly is a blindspot?

Driver visibility is defined as the furthest, widest distance at which the driver can view notable objects surrounding the vehicle. A vehicle’s blindspots are the areas surrounding the vehicle that the driver cannot see from their direct viewpoint while driving. 

How are truck blindspots different from car blindspots?

Passenger vehicle blindspots exist primarily at a 45-degree angle behind the driver’s head. However, because trucks are larger than cars, but the people driving trucks aren’t necessarily larger than the people driving cars, truck blindspots tend to be much larger than car blindspots. 

Common Truck Blindspots

There are a few types of blindspots that often occur across a wide variety of trucks. When driving on the road with trucks, it is very important to keep these common blindspots in mind, be aware of your surroundings, and do your best to stay out of the blindspots of the trucks around you. 

If you can’t, make sure to pay extra attention to the trucks on the road and practice defensive driving in case of an emergency. Here are a few common truck blindspots: 

Behind the Truck

Because semi-trucks are, on average, between 70 and 80 feet long, and trucks with multiple trailers are liable to be over 100 feet long, drivers’ blindspots span a significant length behind them. Additionally, some trucks do not have rearview mirrors. 

In Front of the Truck

This area is especially hazardous when it comes to commercial trucks. If you think about the enormity of the tractor (the front part of the truck), how far out it stretches, and how far off the ground the truck driver is, you won’t find it hard to believe that some drivers of commercial trucks have zero visibility up to 25 feet in front of the truck. 

On the Left and Right Sides of the Truck

The left and right sides of the truck have similar blindspots (not identical due to the driver’s position within the vehicle) that start at the cab and span the length of the truck. These blindspots along the trucks’ flanks can encompass up to three lanes of traffic in either direction and are perhaps the most difficult to avoid.  

Directly Below and Directly Behind the Driver’s Side Window

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. If a truck is large enough (and most commercial trucks are), the driver won’t be able to see a smaller vehicle driving right alongside them. 

Have you ever been driving beside a truck three times the height of your car and wondered whether the driver was even aware that you were there? There’s a good chance they weren’t, and that can lead to careless driving. 

Seeking Legal Aid for an Accident Involving a Truck Blindspot

If you have been in an accident involving a truck blindspot, you might be unsure of how to proceed. Regardless of the other driver’s intention, if you are not at fault, then you are a victim and may be entitled to financial compensation. The trucking company will often say that you were driving in a blind spot and there was nothing the driver could do, but this is not accurate. We can help you defeat these arguments.

It is essential that you seek legal aid from an attorney with experience in personal injury cases and truck or car accidents. Contact Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman, a personal injury firm representing clients throughout North Mississippi, as soon as possible.

About the Author
Steven W. Pittman is a Partner at Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman and was admitted to the Mississippi and Tennessee Bars in 1995. Mr. Pittman is admitted to practice in all courts in Mississippi and Tennessee including Federal Court, the Fifth and Sixth Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the Federal District Court for Eastern Arkansas. Mr. Pittman’s areas of practice include personal injury, criminal defense, medical malpractice, and product liability. Mr. Pittman began the first 6 years of his practice at the law offices of and under the personal guidance of the renowned attorney L. Anthony “Tony” Deal in Memphis, Tennessee. Mr. Pittman opened his own firm In Memphis, Tennessee in 2001 before eventually merging his firm and partnering with his father-in law, Gerald W. Chatham, Sr. in Hernando, Mississippi in 2005. Upon Mr. Chatham’s departure from the firm to serve a Circuit Court Judge for the 17th Judicial District in North Mississippi, Mr. Pittman continued the Chatham legacy becoming senior partner working with the up and coming Charles “Nick” Smith as associate and junior partner. Mr. Pittman has been successful in obtaining settlements on behalf of his clients in excess of one million dollars on multiple occasions. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Mr. Pittman through our contact form.