Big trucks are dangerous

Blind spots on trucks, buses and cars: you need to know that

Cyclists or pedestrians are often seriously or fatally injured because they were overlooked by the driver in the blind spot. The ADAC traffic experts give safety instructions for pedestrians, cyclists, car, truck and bus drivers.

The meeting of a truck or bus and a pedestrian or cyclist in the area of ‚Äč‚Äčintersections is one of themmost dangerous traffic situations. If a truck or bus driver overlooks a pedestrian or cyclist while turning, this can result in serious or extremely serious injuries to the accident victim.

There are also frequent collisions between cars and cyclists when turning right. The best way to avoid traffic accidents is to see and be seen. But as simple as this basic rule of conduct sounds, it is difficult to implement it in the case of trucks turning right at intersections or junctions. The most importantInstructions and tips for more safetyand a better togetherness.

What is the blind spot?

In the blind spot are those areas outside the vehicle that the driver cannot see despite the mirrors. All cars, trucks or buses have such areas: directly in front of and behind the vehicle and on both sides of the vehicle.

The roof pillars also "produce" blind spots. Depending on the number of panes and mirrors, these areas are of different sizes.

Road users are always at risk when they are next to cars turning off: They may be completely invisible, especially for drivers of trucks or buses.

Car, bus and truck drivers must pay attention to this

For drivers, the all-round view is impaired by wide roof pillars, the front passenger and the headrests. When turning to the right, a truck or bus driver can only see the space directly next to the driver's cab through the right side window and through the right exterior mirror an area that extends to the rear directly next to the vehicle. Therefore:

  • The exterior and rear-view mirrors should be checked and, if necessary, adjusted before every journey: the more precisely you do this, the smaller the blind spot

  • A truck driver should watch the right edge of the lane while waiting and driving off and watch out for pedestrians and cyclists

  • Check the inside and outside mirrors before turning and each time you change lanes. Do not forget to look over the shoulder, it is indispensable even with a blind spot assistant

  • When turning, a second and third glance to the rear can avoid collisions

  • Keep an eye on footpaths and bike paths before you turn

  • Before getting out of the car, make sure that it is safe to open the door by looking over the shoulder

  • Get the help of a guide when maneuvering

Notes for motorcyclists

The risk for motorcyclists:Drivers often overlook the slim silhouette of their bike and misjudge their speed. Always take other people's mistakes into account, drive proactively and defensively.

  • Avoid the blind spot at an angle behind a car on multi-lane roads (see graphic). Drive past the car or stay far enough for the driver to see you

  • In critical situations, e.g. when approaching an intersection, always be ready to brake, seek eye contact

  • Particular care should be taken behind large vehicles: they are often invisible to drivers coming from a side street

  • At intersections, make sure that hedges or other obstacles can make it difficult for the other person to see

  • Do not overtake immediately if the vehicles in front slow down: the driver may want to turn or change lanes - even if he has not set the indicator

Cyclists and pedestrians should know that

Cyclists and pedestrians are most at risk from trucks turning (right). Make it clear to yourself that a driver's vision is restricted by the blind spot.

  • Therefore, make yourself visible: At intersections, either stand in front of or at a distance to the right behind a truck. Always wait until it has turned all the way

  • Better to wait behind a truck at a red light

  • Don't stop next to a truck. Because: The truck's indicators are located at the front and rear of the vehicle. So you may not even see whether the car is about to turn

  • Eye contact creates partnership: When crossing the street, make sure that the right turn can see you

  • If you can't see the truck driver in his vehicle's mirror, neither will the truck driver see you

  • In unclear traffic situations, it is better to forego your own prerogative

  • Remember that the rear wheels of long vehicles turn significantly further inside than the front wheels: keep your distance, otherwise you could be caught on the side of the vehicle

  • Also keep enough distance from parked cars

The brochure for download: Blind spots in trucks, buses and cars
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