Picture this: You’re in the turn lane, and there’s a semi-truck next to you. The light turns green, and the truck pulls forward but fails to notice that you’re in their no-zone. The cab moves forward, but the trailer hooks into your car, totaling it in a moment. This happens more often than you might realize, but to understand why we need to examine the hidden danger of turning trucks.
Semi-trucks have a much larger turn radius than other vehicles, owing to their length, width, and their trailer moving on a hinge. This means that trucks make wide turns going both left and right, but right turns are especially dangerous.
When a semi-truck needs to turn right, it may be in the center lane because the truck cab will pull into the intersection and make a V shape, but the trailer will follow a smooth curve that starts in the center lane but drifts into the turning lane. The graphic below from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) demonstrates.
The problem is twofold. First, most drivers don’t understand the turn radius of a semi-truck and may pull into the right turn lane (inside the truck’s no-zone) without realizing they are in danger.
Second, the issue isn’t being addressed because many drivers are unaware this is a problem and only a handful of trucks have a “wide turn” warning on the back of their trailer. If used universally, these warning signs could decrease the chances of an unaware driver entering a truck’s turn radius.
In other cases, it’s not a matter of turn radius but driver skill. Left turns give truck drivers more leeway in the intersection, but if they turn too tightly (especially in a double left turn lane), they could sideswipe a vehicle beside them or even hook them onto their trailer. Whatever the cause of the crash, it’s crucial that the injured and their families understand their options for pursuing justice and the damages they need to recover.
If you or someone you love have been injured and need help moving forward, our team is here to help. To discuss your case with an experienced Shreveport truck accident attorney from Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, don’t hesitate to send us an email or call (318) 221-1508 today.