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Sharing the Road With Commercial Motor Vehicles

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Commercial motor vehicles are vital to the economy of Georgia and the United States. Most of the products used in every day life were delivered to stores by commercial motor vehicles. Drivers of commercial motor vehicles are trained, specially licensed driving professionals.

Sharing the road with commercial motor vehicles is a necessary part of travel. Heavy trucks typically weigh 80,000 pounds or more, and drivers should use caution when driving near them.

Everyone should be aware of the differences between trucks and cars and behave ac­cordingly. These include:

  • A fully loaded tractor-trailer, traveling 55 mph, needs 3 times the distance a car needs to stop;
  • Large trucks are more difficult to maneuver, are longer and heavier, and require much more room to turn;
  • Large trucks have larger blind spots, called “No-Zones.”

The “No-Zone” represents the danger areas around trucks and buses where crashes are more likely to occur. Some No-Zones are actual blind spots or areas around trucks and buses where your car “disappears” from the view of the drivers. These blind spots are the Side No-Zone, Rear No-Zone, and Front No-Zone areas.

  • Side No-Zones – Trucks and buses have big No-Zones (blind spots) on both sides. They are much larger than a car’s blind spots. If you cannot see the driver’s face in the side-view mirror, the driver cannot see you. The right side No-Zone is particularly dangerous because truck and bus drivers must make wide right turns.
  • Rear No-Zones – Unlike cars, trucks and buses have huge No-Zones directly behind them. Trucks and buses have no rear view mirror. The truck or bus driver cannot see your car there and you cannot see what is going on ahead of the truck or bus. It is critical to keep a safe distance behind a truck or bus in case the driver slows or stops suddenly.
  • Front No-Zones – Trucks and buses require more room and time to stop than cars. Because of this, more space should be given in front of trucks and buses. It is not safe to “cut in front” of a truck and then slow down. To avoid the Front No-Zone, make sure that you can see the entire front of the truck or bus in your rear-view mirror before you merge or pull into that lane of traffic.

In the illustration on the previous page, the commercial motor vehicle’s blind spots, or “No Zones,” are highlighted in blue. These are areas to avoid when sharing the road with a truck or bus.