Avoiding Blind Spots And Truck No-Zones

Dec 2, 2010

By Staff writer State Farm™ Employee

What you can't see CAN hurt you. Blind spots and no-zones are areas that are not visible to a driver. When you're behind the wheel, you want to minimize your own blind spots. You also want to make sure that other drivers, especially truck drivers, can see you.

Minimize Your Own Blind Spots

Most passenger vehicles have blind spots: areas of the road not visible to drivers while looking straight ahead.

You could turn your head to see what's around you. However, looking over your shoulder takes your eyes (and concentration) off the road. "Fish-eye" mirrors can help, but they're not standard equipment.

The most practical step you can take is to adjust your mirrors properly and minimize those blind spots. Here's how:

  • Driver-side mirror: Sitting with your hands on the steering wheel, lean to the left. Adjust the mirror until your car appears on the inside edge of the reflected image.
  • Passenger-side mirror: Lean your head toward the center of the vehicle. Adjust until the right side of the car appears on the inside edge of the mirror.
  • Now, sitting in your normal driving position, hit the road and test the adjustments. Passing vehicles should appear in the outside mirror before leaving the rearview mirror. They also should be in your peripheral vision before leaving the outside mirror.

These easy adjustments won't eliminate blind spots outright, but properly adjusted mirrors will definitely make driving safer.

Avoid Truck No-Zones

If you think your blind spot's a doozy, imagine what it's like for truckers.

No-zones are the areas near a semi-truck's side and rear where cars disappear into substantial blind spots. Truckers can't see vehicles lingering in the side no-zone, causing a potential hazard if a lane change becomes necessary. And tailgating in the rear no-zone directly behind and fairly close to the truck not only hides you from the driver, but also radically reduces your view of traffic ahead.

When you're driving near semi-trucks, always be aware of these no-zones. Remember, too, that if you can't see a trucker's mirrors, the trucker most likely can't see you.

And finally, when passing a truck, avoid cutting in front of the cab too soon, then abruptly slowing down. Because it takes longer to pass large trucks, maintain your speed and wait until the front of the truck is visible in your inside rearview mirror before switching back into the other lane.

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