Caution Zone: Close Behind My Truck and Two lanes to the Right of Mine

Last Edited: July 28, 2016 // by TruckerScape, Inc.

Seeing Vehicles Two Lanes to My Right

When your vehicle is close behind my truck and two lanes to the right of my lane, your vehicle’s image just shows up in the outer edge of my truck’s large right mirror.  When preparing to change to the lane next to mine on my right, I will be signaling and checking my tractor’s large mirror, the small convex mirrors and my direct sight lines on my right side for any traffic in that lane.  If that lane is empty I will check for vehicles moving into that lane from the next lane over (your lane) before initiating my lane change.

This second check for vehicle movement from two lanes over to my right is not perfect.  Once a vehicle two lanes to my right has advanced past the tail of my trailer, it virtually disappears from mirrored and direct view until it is even with my tractor.

Caution zones on my right side are less visible than their counterparts on my left.  Mirror optics are more restrictive–the distance between me and my right side mirrors narrows my field of vision on that side, and darkness further diminishes visual clarity.  My large right mirror and the small convex mirrors mounted below the large mirror and on my tractor’s right fender are aimed back along the sides of my tractor and trailer at the lane next to mine on my right, and their fields of vision out to their sides are limited.  Thus my mirror views of vehicles two lanes to my right are not as good as my mirror views of vehicles in the right lane next to mine.

At night or in other dim conditions, headlight reflections on the outer rims of my small convex mirrors and ambient light may alert me to a vehicle in the right side blind area that I may be able to confirm by leaning backward and forward and side to side to alter my mirror sight lines.  However I prefer to wait to see if the vehicle will pull forward where it is more visible.  Once even with my tractor and in front of it, vehicles appear in my direct lines of sight out my right side window and windshield.  These direct (non-mirror) views of vehicles two lanes to my right are actually better than those one lane to my right, where at certain points small vehicles may be largely or completely hidden from me.

As a general rule it is safest to assume that when your vehicle is two lanes to the right of my lane, it is not visible to me until it is even with, or in front of my tractor.  One other important non-mirror detail:  I have a broader direct view out the left side of my cab (tractor) than out the right side.

When You and I Change Lanes

If I do see you changing lanes behind my truck in my large right mirror, I will hesitate to check which lane you wind up in.  If you move two lanes to your left to get close and directly behind my truck, I won’t be too concerned about you because of your vehicle’s maneuverability and its position out of my truck’s stopping/slowing down path (see the Risk Zone:  Close and Directly Behind My Truck tip).

However, once I have completed my lane change to the right you will be in a riskier zone, close behind my truck but in the left lane next to mine.  I will have to keep closer track of you there (see the Risk Zone:  Close Behind My Truck but in the Left Lane Next to Mine, Where I Can See You in My Large Left Mirror tip).  One positive point about this switch is that you are more visible on my left than in the corresponding risk zone on my right.

If you move one lane to your left to get close behind my truck in the lane to the right of mine, your vehicle’s image will shift from the outer edge of my truck’s large right mirror to its center.  I will delay my change to that lane until I’m sure my trailer tail is safely past the front of your vehicle (see the Risk Zone:  Close Behind My Truck but in the Right Lane Next to Mine, Where I Can See You in My Large Right Mirror tip).  Once I’ve completed my lane change to the right, you will be in a less risky zone (see the Risk Zone:  Close and Directly Behind My Truck tip).

If you pull forward until you are even with the rear section of my trailer (from the tail to the trailer tandems at their full forward position) and two lanes to my right, your vehicle’s image will be largely out of my view, though a fragment of it may reside in the outer rim of the small convex mirror below it.  Then if you move left into the lane next to mine, I may not see your move until it is completed.

Once you’ve made that move, your image will have returned to the center of my large right mirror (see the Risk Zone:  Alongside the Rear Section of My Trailer on My Right Side, Where I Can See You in My Large Right Mirror tip).  I will have to delay my lane change to my right until you move back a safe distance behind my trailer or elsewhere out of all obstructive risk zones in that lane.  If I am able to pull ahead and/or you slide back, I will move into your lane only when I’m sure my trailer tail is safely past the front of your vehicle (see the Risk Zone:  Close and Directly Behind My Truck tip).

If I begin to change lanes to my right at the same time as your move to your left, I will need your help in avoiding a possible collision.  Hopefully you will see my turn signal and cancel your move.  If you rely on your horn to head me off, there is a good chance that I won’t hear it (see the Hearing tip in the Truck Handling Characteristics and Limitations chapter).

If you defer to me, you will wind up alongside the rear section of my trailer but obviously not in the lane you want (see the Risk Zone:  Alongside the Rear Section of My Trailer on My Right Side, Where I Can See You in My Large Right Mirror tip).  You will then have to wait until you can move left into my lane well ahead of my truck (see the Risk Zone:  Close in Front of My Truck and in the Right Lane Next to Mine and the Risk Zone:  Close and Directly in Front of My Truck tips), or move left behind my truck a safe distance (see the Risk Zone:  Close and Directly Behind My Truck tip).

Another clearing option is for you to move one lane to your right, returning to two lanes to the right of my lane.  Then if you slide back even with my trailer’s tail or farther behind my trailer, your vehicle’s image will return to the outer edge of my truck’s large right mirror.  I will change one lane to my right only after confirming that you have completed your move (see the Risk Zone:  Close Behind My Truck but in the Right Lane Next to Mine, Where I Can See You in My Large Right Mirror tip).

If after returning to two lanes to the right of my lane, you stay alongside the rear section of my trailer, your vehicle’s image will be largely out of my view, though a fragment of it may reside in the outer rim of the small convex mirror below it.   This will cause me to be more cautious in moving to the lane to my right, even though the large mirror, small convex mirrors and my direct sight lines on my right side show that you’ve exited that lane.  Once I’ve completed my lane change to get alongside your vehicle on my right side, your vehicle’s image will have returned to the center of my large right mirror (see the Risk Zone:  Alongside the Rear Section of My Trailer on My Right Side, Where I Can See You in My Large Right Mirror tip).

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