Many of us have witnessed the difficulty commercial trucks have with maneuvering their vehicle on streets. In city areas like Chicago, the issue of trucks needing to get through the city are even more pronounced as many of the streets are narrow and built originally for a horse-and-buggy mode of travel. Turning has been proven to be a challenging task for even the most experienced truck drivers. Complicating the issue are the many other drivers on the road that can block or otherwise interfere with a truck driver trying to make a turn. Below are some tips of which to be aware for safer turning:

Right Turns

Accidents involving a right turn happen for two reasons: not swinging out enough or swinging out too much. When to do which method depends on the circumstances surrounding the turn. Swinging out too far carries the risk that other vehicles on the road interpret your maneuvers to mean that you are moving into another lane. At this point, many will start to move into the right lane to attempt to pass the truck. A better solution (when a driver has the space and it is safe and legal to do so) is to turn into the opposing lane on the cross street only long enough to complete the turn. This will reduce other motorists misinterpreting the truck driver.

Left Turns

Even with the hazards of making right turns, left turns can be even more dangerous, time-consuming, and money-wasting for drivers of large trucks. One large company, UPS, has decided to do away with making left turns all together. Their truck drivers have routes that allow only right turns. The result is that the company has saved millions of dollars in gas and has saved time on their routes. Other truck drivers should take note, especially independent drivers who supply their own costs.

Truck drivers should update themselves on maps of their routes before attempting them to see if there are any areas that create tricky turns. Some intersections are just too sharp for any truck driver to safely attempt. Drivers should never be in a hurry to make a turn and, in most instances, a truck cannot safely turn on red even when it is legal to do so.

If a truck driver is involved in an accident, cooperate with police to fully document the circumstance. If the truck is found to be a fault, drivers may be issued a citation and their commercial and personal vehicle insurance rates may increase. Consulting with an attorney may be helpful to getting any charges reduced or in clearing driving records. If an injury has occurred, a driver will need to cooperate with the investigation and the case, where the driver’s insurance company will hire attorneys to defend the trucker and the insurance company.

This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Do not rely on the above information as all cases are different and different laws apply to different cases. Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance. If you were injured in an accident involving a turning truck please call one of our attorneys at David K. Kremin & Associates, and we will give you a free consultation. We never charge unless we collect for you. Please call 1(800) ASK-A-LAWYER or 1(800)275-2529.