Drivers have a responsibility to be constantly aware of their surroundings when behind the wheel, and that includes watching out for the occasional bicyclist. There is only so much that a motorist can do to overcome their blind spots, however, and that goes doubly so for large trucks with considerably broader areas that their mirrors do not account for.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists make up 16% of deaths in large truck accidents for the year 2020. This may be due to the ease with which individuals in these groups can slip into a truck’s large blind spots. By learning more about large vehicle blind spots, you can better protect yourself when riding a bicycle.
Passing a truck can be dangerous
Many large trucks move slowly, and they often occupy the same right-hand lane that bicyclists should use. However, it is dangerous to try to pass a large truck on the left because they might attempt to merge into the left lane without seeing your bicycle in their large blind spot. Be aware that stopping to the right of a semi-truck at a traffic light can also be dangerous, as the trailer can draw extremely close to the curb during a right-hand turn.
There is also a large blind spot in front of the truck
Moving into the space in front of a truck is a bad idea, as the truck’s own height can create a large blind spot that the driver cannot see through their windshield. For many large semi-trucks, this blind spot can extend approximately six feet in front of the vehicle.
Motorists can typically proceed along the road with little regard for the blind spots of other vehicles. Bicyclists, however, can create great danger for themselves by ignoring blind spots.