Teach Your Teen Driver to Stay Out of a Truck’s No Zone
Teaching your teen to drive is one of the rites of passage as a parent and is not taken lightly. While driving helps your teen learn and gain independence, you also want them to stay safe. One way to do that is to prepare them for the open road by teaching them to stay out of a truck’s no zone.
What is a Truck No Zone?
A truck’s no zone includes the truck’s surrounding areas from front to back and blind spots. These blind areas are where most crashes happen, so spending time specifically on this topic with your teen can help them stay safe and grant you peace of mind.
Due to a truck’s sheer size and height, towering over most passenger vehicles, there are several blind spots where your teen’s car will disappear from the sight of the truck driver. The driver won’t know he or she is there until it is too late.
If an accident occurs, keep in mind that you may have a case against the driver and want to file a truck accident claim with the help of an attorney with specialized knowledge in these types of accidents.
It’s heartbreaking to know that vehicle accidents are among the leading causes of teenage deaths in the United States. Preparing your teen for the road and the various situations he or she will encounter is one of the most valuable gifts any parent can give.
Front No Zone Area
The front no zone area extends out from the truck’s engine to approximately 20 feet ahead. For this reason, teach your teen the proper passing technique for big trucks, allowing for over 20 feet before changing back into their lane in front of them. Also, be sure they know to maintain their speed without slowing down once in front of a truck.
At no time should your teen cut off a truck or move in front of one too quickly from another lane. Truck drivers require almost twice the amount of time and space to stop than passenger vehicles do.
Rear No Zone Area
Unlike other vehicles, trucks do not have rear-view mirrors. Instead, they rely on side-view mirrors to see what is around them. This means that the rear blind spot can extend as far back as 200 feet from the truck’s rear.
Teach your teen to leave at least two car lengths between them and the back of a truck. This will allow them plenty of space to react if the truck makes a sudden stop or decreases its speed. While you’ve already taught your teen the importance of not tailgating, you will want to re-emphasize it here again whenever semi trucks are involved.
Another important lesson is to steer clear of any truck that is backing up. Many injuries and deaths occur when both pedestrians and motorists ignore or become impatient with trucks backing up. It takes them more time, and their sightlines are limited, so stay aware.
Side No Zone Areas
Both sides of a semi truck are danger zones for passenger vehicles. Driving in a truck’s side blind spots can lead to being sideswiped by the truck as the driver changes lanes or swerves unexpectedly across the line.
If your teen finds themselves side by side with a truck, have them consider either speeding up slightly to stay ahead of the truck so the driver can see them, or fall back and stay away from both side and rear blind spots.
Another factor to consider is trucks often require additional space to swing wide to make a turn. Teach your teen to be observant, looking out for signals, and giving trucks room to make their turns.
Teaching your teen precautions for safer driving, especially around big semi trucks, will help them pay closer attention to the situations they will encounter out on the highways as well as more rural, two-lane roads.
What to do if Your Teen is in an Accident with a Truck
With all your teaching, there are still times when accidents occur. If your teenager is in an accident with a truck, it may not be his or her fault. Our personal injury attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can help you wade through the facts and seek compensation in such cases. Give us a call today at (866) 642-4529 to schedule a free consultation.