The National Transportation Safety Board recently sent the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration a list of recommendations that the NTSB believes will reduce the number and the severity of accidents involving tractor-trailers. The board based its proposals on its own research and research conducted by others. Notably, however, one of the recommendations addresses the lack of data on truck accidents.
First up: blind spots. Most drivers understand the concept of blind spots in a passenger vehicle. Some part of the car obstructs the driver's view of traffic in the right-hand lane, and the driver has to turn his head or rely on mirrors to make sure the way is clear before moving over. Tractor-trailers are the same, except that the thing blocking their view is not a rear window post a few inches wide; it is the rig itself, all 18 wheels of it.