When it comes to trucking accidents, we tend to imagine crashes on the highway, perhaps caused by poor merging technique or negligent maintenance. While those high-speed crashes are perhaps the most notorious, there’s one type of truck accident that most people don’t expect: those caused by turning trucks.
While stopped at a red light, you may have seen trucks with signs on their trailer stating “Danger: Wide Turns.” That’s because trucks are much longer and wider than a standard vehicle, and their trailer moves on a hinge. To turn at an intersection, a truck driver must carefully maneuver their cab in such a way that the trailer stays in its lane.
A truck driver must be extremely cautious during a turn, especially on crowded streets. If they turn too tight, they could sideswipe the person in the lane next to them. If they turn too wide, they could potentially hit someone on the cross street. In either case, the truck’s size and the force required to move it can cause catastrophic damage, even at low speeds.
The best way to avoid a truck crash at the stoplight is the same as on the highway: give them more space. If you see a truck in the middle lane with its right turn signal on, don’t pull up next to it, as that could put you in their no-zone. Instead, go behind the truck in its lane or wait a few car lengths back in the turning lane. As the truck pulls forward, pay attention to where the trailer goes.
You should also be cautious about pulling up next to a truck in a double left-turn lane. While left turns give trucks more room to maneuver through the intersection, the truck could potentially sideswipe your vehicle if the driver turns too tight. In either case, the best thing you can do is wait behind them until it’s safe to turn.
If you or someone you love suffered severe injuries or even wrongful death in a trucking crash, we are here for you. If you’d like to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced Walnut Creek personal injury attorney from Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (925) 275-5592 or send us an email.