Because of their large size, semi-trailers have limitations when maneuvering. A semi-trailer’s turn radius is one of those limitations. Right turns require a tighter turn than left turns, so right turns can be especially difficult for a truck driver to execute.
Because of how long semi-trailers are, the rear tires follow a narrower path than the front tires follow when turning. To safely complete a right turn, the cab of a semi-trailer must swing wide, so that the rear tires of the trailer do not jump the curb. Alternatively, a truck driver may start a right turn from a left lane.
Other drivers may not expect wide turns
Unfortunately, many drivers on the road are unaware that semi-trailers cannot turn as sharply as passenger vehicles can. Drivers often think a turning semi-trailer is simply changing lanes or that the trucker forgot to turn off his turn signal. When this happens, drivers may try to move up into the open right lane beside the semi-trailer, and when the semi-trailer turns, the passenger vehicle can get crushed. This type of crash is called a “right turn squeeze” or “squeeze play.”
How to avoid being in a right turn squeeze
You can prevent being involved in a right turn squeeze crash by:
- Never squeezing between a turning semi-trailer and the curb
- Never passing a semi-trailer on the right side
- Keeping plenty of space between you and a semi-trailer
- Staying out of a semi-trailer’s blind spots
Although there are actions you can take to prevent being involved in a right turn squeeze crash, truck drivers should take steps to make sure that their intentions to turn are clear. Failing to use a turn signal or driving with a broken turn signal are reckless actions that could cause a dangerous situation.
Crashes involving semi-trailers can cause serious injuries to the occupants of an involved passenger vehicle. If you have been injured in a crash involving a semi-trailer, it may be appropriate to seek justice. You may be able to receive compensation for medical expenses and other costs associated with your injury.