Dangerous Wide & Swinging Truck Turns
A semi-truck’s weight, length, and height make it nearly impossible for truck drivers to maneuver tight turns like normal-sized vehicles. A fully-loaded (or overloaded) truck also has a much higher center of gravity than typical cars, trucks, and SUVs, making it easier for a truck to tip over. To avoid this situation, and to avoid driving over curbs and sidewalks, truck drivers generally move into adjacent lanes or swing wide prior to and after making a turn.
Sometimes, drivers of smaller vehicles mistake this opening as a chance to pass the truck on the right, placing themselves in the truck driver’s blind spot. If the truck driver does not properly check his or her blind spot, the motorist can become squeezed between the truck and the curb. This situation is known as “squeeze play.”
Squeeze Play Truck Accidents
When a smaller vehicle becomes wedged between a semi-truck and the curb, serious injuries are likely to occur, and even at low speeds, the impact of a squeeze play accident can be deadly. Because large trucks are so difficult to turn and potentially create a dangerous situation for motorists, truck drivers are required to complete extensive training and testing to ensure they know the distance necessary to make a safe turn while minimizing hazards for other drivers.
Unfortunately, however, truck drivers may negligently fail to see a vehicle in an adjacent lane or misjudge the space available for a wide turn. A truck driver may also fail to signal to other drivers. Some truckers make these mistakes because of inexperience or inadequate training; others simply fail to take appropriate precautions before making a turn. Other contributing factors that may lead to squeeze play and wide turn accidents include:
- Driver fatigue
- Rolling out or skidding
- Double trailers and triple trailers
- Rear wheel instability
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Even when a truck driver begins a turn safely, it may not be enough to keep the truck away from other traffic as the turn is completed. If the truck swings too far or not far enough, opposing traffic may be at risk for a collision with the truck as it makes its turn.
After a Truck Accident, Talk to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been in a truck accident involving a wide turn or squeeze play, the truck driver, trucking company, or their insurer may be liable for your injuries. Call the law firm of Henry Spiegel Milling LLP today at (404) 832-8000 to learn more about your legal rights during a free initial consultation. We represent truck accident victims across the State of Georgia, including Atlanta, Macon, Valdosta, Savannah, and Rome.