CDL Training

Where are the Blind Spots on Semi-Trucks?


Driving alongside a semi-truck can be intimidating, especially when considering the massive blind spots these vehicles have. Understanding the blind spots on a semi-truck is crucial for both commercial drivers and everyday road users to ensure everyone’s safety. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the four major semi-truck blind spots, explain their significance, and provide tips for safe driving. Additionally, we’ll look at how advancements in technology are helping to improve safety on the roads.

The Four Major Semi-Truck Blind Spots

Semi-trucks have extensive blind spots, often referred to as “No Zones.” These areas extend to the front, back, and both sides of the truck, making it challenging for truck drivers to see other vehicles. Let’s break down each of these blind spots:

1. Left Side Under Mirror and Extending Back

Visibility is particularly challenging on the left side, from the driver’s door extending toward the back of the truck. Any vehicle traveling in the left lane behind the driver’s door is essentially invisible to the truck driver. This blind spot can span several car lengths, making it a dangerous zone for other drivers.

2. Right Side Under Mirror and Extending Back

Similar to the left side, the right side of the semi’s cab extending towards the back also has a significant blind spot. Vehicles in one or two lanes over from the right of the truck and behind the cab may not be visible in the driver’s side mirror. This is often the largest blind spot, as the truck driver’s visibility is even more restricted on the right side.

3. Front of Truck (20+ Feet)

Driving directly in front of a semi-truck can be extremely hazardous. The driver cannot see vehicles within the 20 feet zone immediately in front of the truck. Since trucks require more time to slow down and stop, cutting in front of them can lead to severe accidents. Always ensure you have plenty of space before merging back into the lane in front of a semi.

4. Behind the Truck (30+ Feet)

The area behind a truck extending 30 or more feet is another critical blind spot. If you’re too close to the back of a truck, the driver will not be able to see you. As a rule, if you can’t see the truck driver’s mirrors, they can’t see you either.

The Importance of Defensive Driving for CDL Drivers

For commercial drivers, being acutely aware of these blind spots is a part of responsible driving. Defensive driving practices are essential to avoid accidents. Here are some tips for CDL drivers to enhance safety:

– Regular Mirror Checks: Continuously monitor side mirrors to be aware of vehicles entering blind spots.

– Use Turn Signals Early: Signal well in advance of making a lane change to alert nearby drivers.

– Keep Safe Distances: Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, especially in congested traffic or adverse weather conditions.

– Avoid Distractions: Stay focused and minimize distractions inside the cab.

Tips for Road Users to Drive Safely Around Semi-Trucks’ Blind Spots

For those sharing the road with semi-trucks, understanding how to avoid truck blind spots can prevent accidents. Here’s how you can stay safe:

– Stay Out of Blind Spots: Avoid lingering in the truck’s No Zones. If you must pass, do so quickly and safely.

– Give Them Space: Provide ample space when merging in front of a truck and avoid cutting them off.

– Pass on the Left: It’s safer to pass on the left side where the driver has a better chance of seeing you.

– Use Signals: Signal well in advance to let truck drivers know your intentions.

New Technology Enhancing Blind Spot Safety

The trucking industry is investing in technology to help mitigate the dangers posed by blind spots. Innovations such as backup cameras, side-mirror cameras, and side-view assist systems are becoming more common. These technologies provide truck drivers with better visibility, helping them to monitor blind spots more effectively. While not all trucks are equipped with these systems, their increasing adoption promises a safer driving environment for everyone.


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