Turning Semi Trucks Can Cause Serious Accidents
When it comes to standard driving, it can be more difficult to operate a semi-truck or an 18-wheeler than it can be to handle a standard passenger vehicle. This is because semis are larger, heavier, and take up more space than a passenger car, meaning that more consideration and care may need to be exercised before moves like merges and turns are attempted. Otherwise, a semi truck accident could result, and they often lead to serious damage and injuries.
In fact, one of the most difficult maneuvers routinely executed by semi truck drivers while on the road is a turn. It may sound like a simple, straightforward task but when a semi is involved, the odds are high that something may go wrong. Often, an incident between a truck and another vehicle can result from squeeze play or a wide turn.
What is a squeeze play accident?
Semi trucks are large and usually about 60 feet long. Because of their length, making a right-hand turn requires the driver to swing out slightly to the left before turning right. This often causes other driver to think they are turning left or going straight, when really they are swinging-wide to make a right turn. Because of this, many driver try to pass the 18-wheeler on their right and get “squeezed” in between the truck and some other object on the corner of the road. This type of accident is known as a squeeze play accident
Dangers Posed by Truck Turns in Chicago
Truck accidents that occur while the truck is turning is often known as a squeeze play crash or as a wide turn accident. Semis cannot make tight turns so when a tight right hand turn is necessary, a semi truck may begin the turn by first swinging wide to the left and then beginning the right turn. These wide turns can pose threats to vehicles to the left of the semi before the turn, the right of the semi before the turn, or even those that will be near the semi once the turn is completed.
The initial swing the truck makes to the left can leave the cab of the semi in a separate lane of traffic from where it started, potentially causing a side impact collision with a car or other vehicle. Also, as the truck swings left, it may not be clear of the semi’s intention to turn right and rather may look like a late attempt to change lanes. When this occurs, some drivers may be fooled into thinking the right lane is now clear and may proceed forward, placing their car between the semi truck and the right curb and in the path of travel once the semi begins to turn. When an impact occurs between a car and a semi in this manner, it is often called a squeeze play accident because the car is squeezed between the trailer of the truck and the curb, potentially leading to serious damage to the vehicle and possibly serious injuries to the passengers of a car.
Even if a truck swings left in an effort to make a tight right turn, it may not be enough to keep the truck safe and away from other traffic once the turn is finished. If the truck swings too far or not far enough, opposing traffic may be at risk for a collision with the truck as the truck makes its turn.
Collisions with semi trucks are very dangerous to all those involved but in the majority of accidents, the damage will disproportionately be done to the passenger car in the crash. Cars just are not capable of withstanding the force of an impact caused by a moving semi that weights several tons.
Who is to Blame for a Wide Turn Truck Accident?
Chicago laws, as well as national trucking laws and the laws in Illinois, require all drivers to act in a safe and careful manner when behind the wheel. In addition to the basic requirements of all motorists, commercial truckers have additional rules and regulations that determine how they must act in certain situations. The laws impose a duty on each trucker to act in accordance with these rules and to not risk the safety of others.
In many cases, the driver of the truck, the owner of the truck, or even the company that the trucker works for may be held legally liable for any damages that result from an accident. This can include the medical bills incurred by all those affected in the crash as well as other damages, like income lost due to time missed from work for treatment and recovery.
An Experienced Lawyer Can Help You with Your Truck Accident Case
When an accident occurs between a semi truck and a car, it may be the fault of either the truck driver or the driver of the car, depending on the accident. Any motorists may make an error in driving or make act with reckless disregard towards the safety of others, causing a dangerous situation to arise and a possible collision to occur. Speaking with a knowledgeable injury lawyer who handles truck accident cases may be the best way to learn about your legal rights and whether a recovery may be possible in your case.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we put our experience to use every day as we fight for our clients’ rights. We offer a free case consultation to all injury victims who contact us at (855) LAW-CHICAGO or locally at (312) 924-7575 and there is no obligation on the part of the victim for taking advantage of the free call. Our legal team understands that you may need answers at any time, and to help provide you with those answers, we keep a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call.
If an accident has left you injured or has claimed the life of your loved one, make sure you have someone on your side, fighting for your rights. Call us today and let us help you seek a recovery you deserve.