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Where are a big rig truck's blind spots?

Put a car up against a huge semitrailer truck in a road test and you will notice that there are a number of differences that stand out. There's the size difference, of course. And even empty, a big rig is going to weigh significantly more than nearly any passenger vehicle on the road.

Other major distinctions that Texas drivers likely appreciate are the fact that 18-wheelers take longer to get up to cruising speed than cars and small trucks. They also take longer to stop. According to data widely available from various sources, the average passenger car going 55 can stop in about 400 feet, but a large truck going that fast requires twice that distance.

And, of course, we all have heard about the hazards of a vehicle's blind spots. Mirrors are supposed to help. But don't forget that in a lot of instances, that image in the right one is closer than it appears.

Big rigs don't only have more blind spots, but they tend to be bigger in size. And that is one reason why experts say it's a good idea to keep as much space between you and a big commercial truck as you can.

So where are those blind spots? According to the website, Thinking Driver, there are four of them. The most obvious may be the one right behind the trailer. Who hasn't seen that caution sign that says "If you can't see my mirrors I can't see you."

There are also the spots on the right and left just behind the cab. But the thing about the one on the right of the truck is that it tends to extend across multiple lanes of traffic.

And what might surprise some folks is that the space immediately in front and to the right of the truck tractor is a blind spot. Not all rigs have mirrors positioned there to give the driver any sort of a view.

Greater awareness can go a long way to help reduce your chances of being struck by a commercial vehicle. But if a truck, due to a driver's negligence, does hit you, know that you have rights that deserve to be protected.

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