Avoid the no-zone around trucks, buses | NevadaAppeal.com

Avoid the no-zone around trucks, buses

by Susie Vasquez, Appeal Staff Writer

Most Nevadans feel truckers are safe drivers, but more than two-thirds experience anxiety when driving next to trucks, according to an April phone survey conducted by the Nevada Department of Public Safety.

Fear and anticipation of what can happen, including not being seen, were listed as the primary concerns.

Large trucks and buses have blind spots in front, behind and on either side called “no-zones.” Avoiding these danger spots will minimize the risks for motorists, said Lt. Kevin Tice of the Nevada Highway Patrol.

“Many times, the crash is a result of the motorist being in a ‘no-zone,'” he said.

Ironically, motorists, not the truck drivers, cause 74 percent of the accidents involving trucks, according to an analysis by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis.

“Hundreds of trucks travel Nevada roadways each day, supplying more than 80 percent of goods for the state,” said Ray Roach of the Nevada Motor Transport Association. “With all these trucks on the roads, it’s critical that both motorists and truckers learn to share the road safely.”

The following guidelines, compiled by the Department of Public Safety, are designed to help motorists when driving around large trucks.

n Trucks have blind spots on both sides. If you can’t see the driver’s face in his side-view mirror, he can’t see you. If that driver needs to change lanes for any reason, you could be in danger.

n Trucks and buses have blind spots directly behind them. Truck and bus drivers cannot see the car behind them, and the car driver cannot see what’s going on ahead. If the truck or bus driver brakes suddenly, the person driving the car will have no place to go.

n Truck and bus drivers need nearly twice the time and room to stop as do cars. When passing a truck, a car driver should look for the whole front of the truck in his or her rear-view mirror before pulling in front then shouldn’t slow down.

n Truck drivers don’t have rear-view mirrors and may not see a motorist or pedestrian cutting behind them.

n Truck and bus drivers sometimes need to swing wide to the left to safely make a right turn. They cannot see cars squeezing in between them and the curb. Motorists should watch for their blinders and give them room.

The Nevada Department of Public Safety launched a comprehensive campaign Friday called “Keep Nevada Trucking: Avoid the No-Zone” to educate motorists on safer driving.

The campaign will continue through Oct. 26 with radio spots and special presentations at Hot August Nights and the Nevada State Fair, according to Kim Evans, spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety.