Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Shreveport Personal Injury Lawyer
Free Consultation
Call Today!

What is a No Zone?

what is a no zone?

Most drivers feel very nervous when driving next to big semi-trucks, and for good reason. Semi-truck accidents are often the most catastrophic types of accidents, resulting in life-changing injuries and even death. That’s why it’s crucial to be aware of semi-truck blind spots, so you can drive safely when near these massive vehicles. Below, Shreveport truck accident lawyers answer the frequently asked question: what is a no zone? We’ll break down everything you need to know about semi-truck no zones, including how to know you’re in a no zone, and how to pass safely until you exit a no zone. 

If you or a loved one has suffered catastrophic injuries or wrongful death from a semi-truck accident, call 318-222-2772 to schedule a free consultation with the Shreveport auto accident lawyers at Rice & Kendig today.

What is a No Zone in Driving?

A No Zone refers to areas around a large vehicle, such as a semi-truck, where other cars are not visible to the truck driver. These blind spots are significantly larger than those of a regular passenger car due to the size and length of the truck. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) emphasizes the importance of being aware of these zones to prevent accidents. In fact, the FMCSA started the No Zone Program in 1994 to raise awareness about the dangers of semi-truck blind spots and help drivers of passenger vehicles to enter and exit these no zones as safely as possible.

what are no zones

What Are the No Zones of a Truck?

Understanding the specific No Zones of a large truck is vital for safe driving. Semi-trucks have four primary No Zones: the front, rear, right side, and left side. Each zone represents serious blind spots that pose unique dangers and requires careful navigation by other drivers. As a general rule, car drivers should avoid these four no zones as much as possible to avoid getting into a dangerous situation with a commercial truck.

Front No Zone

The front No Zone extends about 20 feet ahead of the truck’s cab. Due to the truck’s height and the angle of the windshield, the driver cannot see vehicles that are directly in front. Front no zones are particularly dangerous because large trucks take longer to stop than other vehicles, and a sudden stop can lead to a rear-end collision.

Rear No Zone

The rear No Zone stretches up to 200 feet behind the truck. Because trucks don’t have a rearview mirror, the driver must rely on side mirrors, which do not provide a clear view directly behind the trailer. Tailgating a truck is especially hazardous in this zone, as the truck driver cannot see a regular passenger vehicle behind them, and any sudden braking could result in a serious crash. Additionally, car drivers cannot see the road ahead if they’re tailgating an 18-wheeler, which adds to the dangerous situation.

Right Side No Zone

The right side No Zone spans two lanes wide and runs the length of the truck. This is the most extensive and dangerous blind spot. Even though commercial trucks have large side view mirrors, car drivers should avoid lingering in this area because truck drivers often cannot see vehicles on this side, especially when making a wide right turn. 

Left Side No Zone

While smaller than the right side No Zone, the left side blind spot extends one lane wide and runs along the length of the truck. Although the visibility is slightly better for the truck driver on this side because they are closest to this side mirror, it remains a critical area to avoid for other vehicles.

what are no zones in driving

Why Are Truck Blind Spots So Dangerous to Drive In?

Commercial truck blind spots, or No Zones, are dangerous for several reasons, each contributing to the heightened risk of accidents involving semi-trucks.

Lack of Visibility

Truck drivers have a limited field of vision compared to drivers of smaller vehicles. The design and size of the truck mean that large areas around the vehicle are not visible. This limited visibility increases the likelihood of accidents, as the truck driver may not be aware of nearby vehicles. A good rule of thumb to remember is if you cannot see the truck driver in their side view mirror, then they likely can’t see you either.

Increased Crash Risk

Driving in a truck’s No Zone significantly raises the chance of a collision. If a truck driver cannot see your vehicle, they may change lanes or turn without realizing you are there, leading to a potential crash. Understanding these blind spots and avoiding them can reduce crash risks.

Limited Reaction Time

Truck drivers have less time to react to vehicles in their blind spots. This limited reaction time can be critical, especially at highway speeds, where a delay in reaction can result in catastrophic accidents. Giving yourself enough room between you and a large truck and staying out of these No Zones allows truck drivers to maneuver safely and avoid sudden, dangerous moves.

Large Stopping Distance

Semi-trucks require a much longer distance to stop compared to passenger cars. Vehicles in the front No Zone are at high risk if they need to brake suddenly. The large stopping distance combined with big rig blind spots can lead to devastating rear-end collisions.

no zones

How to Drive Safely in a Semi-Truck’s Blind Spot

To drive safely around 18-wheelers, it’s essential to be mindful of their No Zones and adjust your driving habits accordingly. This is how to avoid a trucking crash in one of the four no zones:

  1. Avoid Lingering in No Zones: If you find yourself in a truck’s blind spot, move out of it as quickly and safely as possible.
  2. Quickly and Safely Pass the Truck: When overtaking a truck, do so promptly and avoid staying in the blind spot. Always pass on the left side where visibility is slightly better. 
  3. Don’t Tailgate: Maintain a safe following distance to ensure you are visible to the truck driver and to allow for sufficient reaction time if the truck stops suddenly.
  4. Signal Early: When merging or changing lanes near a truck, use turn signals well in advance of a lane change to ensure the driver has enough time to see you and react. 
  5. Be Predictable: Avoid making sudden movements or lane changes around trucks. Consistent and predictable driving helps truck drivers anticipate your actions.

no zones driving

Can You Sue for a Semi-Truck Blind Spot Accident?

Yes, you may be able to file a lawsuit if you were injured in a semi-truck blind spot accident. However, if you’re wondering: who can I sue after a trucking collision? The answer to this question can be complicated because proving liability in these types of accidents involves many factors. The key issue is determining who was at fault: was it the truck driver, the other vehicle driver, or a combination of both? Understanding the dynamics of the accident, such as your actions while in the blind spot, the truck driver’s actions during the incident, and adherence to safety regulations, is crucial. Other contributing factors might include the truck’s maintenance records, the driver’s training and experience, and whether proper protocols were followed by both parties.

Given these complexities, it’s essential to consult with an experienced Shreveport 18 wheeler accident lawyer at Rice & Kendig. Our skilled attorneys can protect your rights, conduct a thorough investigation to determine specific percentages of fault, and tell you what you should know about comparative fault and truck crashes. This process will include gathering evidence, reviewing traffic camera footage, consulting with accident reconstruction experts, and interviewing witnesses. By analyzing these details, we can build a strong case to ensure you receive appropriate compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

what is a no zone in driving

Call Shreveport Semi-Truck Accident Lawyers at Rice & Kendig Today

If you or a loved one has been involved in a semi-truck accident, the experienced truck accident attorneys at Rice & Kendig are here to help. We understand the complexities and challenges that come with these types of cases and are dedicated to securing the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. Our team of Shreveport personal injury lawyers will thoroughly investigate your case, determine liability, and advocate fiercely on your behalf. Don’t navigate this difficult time alone—reach out to Rice & Kendig today for the legal support you need. Call us at 318-222-2772 to schedule a free consultation and take the first step towards justice and recovery.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
1030 Kings Highway
Shreveport, Louisiana 71104
Office: 318-222-2772
Shreveport-Bossier City

© 2020 - 2024 Rice & Kendig, LLC. All rights reserved. This law firm
website and legal marketing are managed by MileMark Media.