All drivers are required to use care when turning left. If they do not have a green arrow, they must wait until it is safe to turn. But some drivers take unnecessary risks and try to beat traffic through the intersection. Others simply aren’t paying attention. Unfortunately, there are preventable truck accidents that are the result of a trucker making an improper left turn.
This can happen for a variety of reasons, including carelessness behind the wheel and a lack of training or driver experience. As a result, the truck driver and trucking company may be liable in a truck accident claim if an unsafe left turn causes an accident and serious injuries.
Why Truck Drivers Make Improper Left Turns
It takes a great deal of skill to operate a tractor-trailer. This is why trucking companies must ensure their drivers know how to maneuver one before hitting the road.
Unlike a passenger car, trucks must make wider turns and may enter other lanes of traffic. And truck drivers can’t always see other vehicles because of blind spots. Part of truck drivers’ training should include making a proper left turn despite these additional challenges.
Factors in Left Turn Accidents Caused by Truckers: Lack of Training
The truck driver shouldn’t begin turning until there is enough room for the rear of the trailer to clear the intersection so it doesn’t impede on traffic and doesn’t force another driver to swerve out of the way or make a sudden stop. Truckers also must consider that it takes longer to make any turn than a passenger vehicle, so they should ensure they have adequate time to make the turn before doing so.
Drivers who lack proper training may not know how to make this turn properly, accounting for the truck’s larger size.
Factors in Left Turn Accidents Caused by Truckers: Carelessness
When it’s not an issue with training or experience, improper left turns can sometimes stem from careless or reckless actions. In many left turn accidents, fault is with the driver who made the left turn. That’s because motorists should never turn left at an intersection unless it’s safe to do so. This means that if a vehicle is approaching from the opposite direction, it’s best to wait until it passes.
An improper left turn can happen when a truck driver isn’t paying attention; for instance, the driver is using a cell phone, eating or engaged in some other type of distraction. Another common problem is truck driver fatigue, which can impair judgment. As a result, the driver might take a risk turning left when it’s not safe to do so.
Proving Fault in a Left Turn Accident Involving a Truck
In general, it’s easier to assign blame with the driver turning left. Some exceptions may apply, such as the other vehicle going through a red light or speeding. So if you were the one making the left turn and a truck sped through a red light, the trucker could be liable in this case even if it wasn’t turning left.
A witness may provide a statement that corroborates a motorist’s side of the story that the truck turned left improperly, or that a truck driver was speeding through a red light. It’s also important to get as many pictures of the accident scene as possible as well, as the location of the vehicles and the damage to the vehicles could help recreate the accident. In some cases, an attorney may seek an accident reconstruction expert to provide testimony.
This type of collision can result in serious or life-threatening injuries as well, so it’s important to consult with an attorney who can determine fault and explain what’s necessary to build a strong case. Call Gacovino, Lake & Associates at 800-550-0000 to set up a consultation with a lawyer to review your case and the available evidence.