Caution Zone: Even With the Rear Section of My Trailer on My Right Side, 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 even with the rear section of my trailer (from the tail to the trailer tandems at their full forward position) and two lanes to the right of my lane, your vehicle’s image has virtually disappeared from my mirrors.  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 the mirrors 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 far from 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 you move one lane to your left to get alongside the rear section of my trailer (from the tail to the trailer tandems at their full forward position), I may not see your move until it is completed.  But after your lane change your vehicle’s image will show up in the center of my large right mirror.  You will be in a risk zone where I have to keep close track of you (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 you pull forward and get even with my trailer’s midships (middle) section of my trailer (even with the trailer’s midships turn signal/emergency flasher light) before moving one lane to your left, I again may not see your move until it is completed.  Once you’re in the lane next to mine on my right, your vehicle’s image will have split between my large right mirror and the small convex mirror below it.  You will be in a ‘no man’s land” risk zone where I have to keep close track of you (See the Risk Zone:  Alongside the Middle Section of My Trailer on My Right Side, Where I can See You Partially in My Large Right Mirror and Partially in The Small Convex Mirror Below It tip).

When you’re this far forward, I’ll be waiting for you to advance (hopefully briskly) through all the other risk zones in the lane to my right including the final one in front 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).  I advise personal vehicle drivers to pass my truck whenever it is practical, safe and lawful to do so.

Once your vehicle is safely out in front of my truck, I will prepare to change to the lane next to mine on my right, signaling and checking my large mirror, the small convex mirrors and my direct sight lines on my right side for any traffic in that lane and then checking for vehicles moving into that lane from the next lane over.

If I begin to move one lane to my right at the same time as your move left from two lanes to my right, 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 in time to turn back (see the Hearing tip in the Truck Handling Characteristics and Limitations chapter).

If you defer to me, you will wind up alongside the midships (middle) section of my trailer (alongside the trailer’s midships turn signal/emergency flasher light), but obviously not in the lane you want.  I’ll be keeping track of you in my large right mirror and the small convex mirror below it and again expecting you to advance (hopefully briskly) through all the other risk zones in the lane to my right including the final one in front 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).

Another clearing option is for you to move one lane to your right, returning to two lanes to the right of mine.  Then unless you slide back even with the tail of my trailer or behind it, your vehicle will be largely out of my view.  I will 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, the position of your vehicle’s mirrored image will depend on how far forward of the trailer tail your vehicle is.  If your vehicle is alongside the rear section of my trailer (from the tail to the trailer tandems at their full forward position), its image will be centered in 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).

If your vehicle is slightly forward of the tandems, its image will have just begun to move downward out of my large right mirror to the small convex mirror below it.  If your vehicle has reached my trailer’s midships (middle) section (even with the trailer’s midships turn signal/emergency flasher light), its image will have split about evenly between the two mirrors (see the Risk Zone:  Alongside the Middle Section of My Trailer on My Right Side, Where I can See You Partially in My Large Right Mirror and Partially in The Small Convex Mirror Below It tip).

TruckerScape, Inc. is not responsible for any damages or losses incurred by you in using this website.

© 2013-2022 TruckerScape, Inc.
Any copying or other reproduction or distribution of this material is expressly prohibited without written permission from TruckerScape, Inc. See our Terms of Use & Privacy Policy for more information.