Navigating Portland streets can prove problematic for drivers of semi-trucks, tractor trailers, and other big rigs. As these vehicles are needed to supply products and materials we rely on daily, the city has made efforts to accommodate them. Improvements have made navigation easier for truck drivers, but they often fail to factor in other motorists who may get caught in trucking blind spots. Getting caught in so-called ‘no zones’ increases your odds of potentially serious truck accidents and injuries. The following highlights what you need to know to protect yourself.
Making Room for Trucks and Tractor Trailers
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has been steadily making road improvements over the last several decades to accommodate the increased number of people living and working in the greater Multnomah County area. In addition to improving traffic flow, installing additional traffic lights, and creating crosswalks, trails, and bicycle lanes, plans have also included accommodations for the increase in truck traffic throughout the area.
One of the key issues for any city in accommodating 18 wheelers, tractor trailers, and other big rigs is providing designated loading zones and widening streets in commercial areas. This does play a major role in improving road safety, but it often fails to include educational efforts aimed at motorists regarding the increased amount of space trucks need when navigating in these locations.
Any vehicle has blind spots, areas where other motorists tend to disappear from view. The larger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot is likely to be. In large trucks and tractor trailers, these are referred to as ‘no zones’. Motorists who mistakenly sit beside a truck or drive alongside them on roads or highways put themselves at high risk of not being seen, resulting in potentially severe accidents and injuries.
Staying Out of the No Zone
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) warns drivers that it is important to be aware of no zones when sharing the road with a truck and when one is backing up, making turns, or changing lanes. Unlike cars, large trucks have blind spots on all four sides of the vehicle and the size of them is likely to surprise the majority of drivers:
- In front of a truck, the blind spot extends out 20 feet;
- Along the left side, it extends the entire lane, from mid cab to the midsection of the truck;
- In back, truck blind spots extend 30 feet;
- On the right side, the blind spot extends two lanes over from the cab and along the entire length.
When Injuries Occur, Our Portland Truck Accident Attorneys Are Here to Help
Even if a motorist is in a truck’s blind spot, the truck driver can be held liable for any injuries that occur as the result of a crash. At the Johnston Law Firm, our goal is to get truck accident victims the compensation they need to recover. To request a consultation to see how we can help you, contact our Portland truck accident attorneys at (503) 546-3167 today.