Like any other vehicle on a public road, semi-trucks and other large vehicles must act in manner that ensures their conduct will not threaten the safety of others. Yet far too often, semi-truck drivers engage in swinging turns, or turns where a motorist starts heading in one direction and then turns in the opposite to give a wider birth when turning. In practice, most swinging turns happen when a semi-truck driver begins a right hand turn by moving the cab of the vehicle left, making the turn, and letting the trailer swing into line with the cab. Wide turns and swinging turns present unique dangers to other vehicles on the roadways of Chicago and can cause serious harm.
Semi-trucks have large blind spots which cause other nearby vehicles to go unnoticed. When a semi-truck makes a swinging turn and they are unaware of the vehicles either behind them or in the next lane next to them disaster can ensue. The trailer of the truck can swing into oncoming traffic going in the same or opposite directions causing a collision. The trailer of the truck can also trap and crush vehicles in parallel lanes if a truck turns too narrowly or too widely. When drivers attempt to correct turning mistakes they can also damage the cars behind them if they back up without properly checking their mirrors.
Given the immense size and weight of semi-trucks, the consequences of these collisions can be deadly.
Truck Accidents Caused by Driver Negligence
With the proper training and vigilant driving, swinging turn truck accidents are easily avoidable. Semi-truck drivers should undergo extensive training to ensure they know how to make wide turns safely without endangering others. However sometimes drivers act too quickly or make negligent decisions that result in lethal turns.
Yearly there on average 500,000 trucking accidents nationwide. Although many accidents occur because of unpredictable factors like roadway problems, poor weather, or mechanical failures, accidents are frequently caused by driver negligence. Drivers, often due to unfamiliarity with an area, can miscalculate their turns or be unaware of blind spots on the road. After a long shift drivers can be inattentive and fail to operate their semi with proper care.
According to experts:
– 20 percent of accidents are caused by driver’s inadequate surveillance;
– 9 percent of accidents are caused by driver inattention;
– 20 percent of accidents are caused by driver’s unfamiliarity with the road;
– 9 percent of are caused by illegal driving maneuvers; and
– 30 percent are caused by driver fatigue.
Danger to Bikers and Pedestrians
Wide turns can pose an additional danger to others on the road and even those on the sidewalks. On average each year, 362 pedestrians and 87 cyclists are killed in accidents involving large trucks.
As large trucks are unable to see other vehicles in their blind spots, the likelihood of missing a biker, pedestrian, or motorcyclist is great. When making swinging turns, trucks can find themselves rolling over curbs or sidewalks, placing pedestrians or those in the bike lanes in grave danger.
Legal Relief for Victims of Swinging Turn Truck Accidents
Unfortunately drivers and trucking companies can be negligent in following the rules and regulations enacted to keep the streets safe. When drivers make poor decisions that affect the safety of others, they should be held accountable for their conduct and the resulting injuries that happen.
On average, the costs associated with swinging turn accident injuries can range from several thousand dollars for minor injuries to millions of dollars when someone loses her life in a crash. The factors of any particular collision will determine the value of the harm and working with an experienced professional can help you assess your case if you were hurt.
An experienced swinging turn attorney understands the special considerations relevant in truck accident cases. At Abels & Annes, P.C., we are familiar with both Illinois and federal commercial motor carrier regulations regarding vehicles and drivers, and we are diligent in investigating the potential causes and issues that may impact issues of liability in trucking accidents.
If you or someone you care about has been involved in an accident involving a large truck, contact the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. You may contact us toll-free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO (529-2442) or locally in Chicago at (312) 924-7575. If you prefer, contact us online about your case.
If you were injured in a swinging truck accident in Chicago, call Abels & Annes, P.C. today toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO for a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation.