It’s most common to see semi-trucks on the highway, so when you learn one of the most common types of truck collisions are side-on collisions, it’s easy to assume that these crashes occur in jackknife accidents. However, another common cause of crashes is when big commercial trucks delivering freight get closer to their destinations. That’s when they get off the highway and get onto local roads.

What are Wide Right Turn Crashes, and How Do They Happen?

Because of their enormous length, trucks are required to make very wide, very slow turns, often taking up more than one lane to do so. They may even need to make a right turn from the left turn lane. This type of turn tends to block other traffic from passing through an intersection until the truck has fully made it through, and that’s when collisions can occur.

Another reason wide-turn crashes occur is because on divided highways, traffic moves in only one direction, so it’s pretty hard to get lost. But commercial truck drivers travel all over the state and around the country for work.

Once these large trucks move onto local roads, like Manchester Expressway or US 80, the drivers may not know how to get to their destinations. They definitely won’t know all the quirks that local drivers do, like which cross streets are one-way only, and when the right lane is right turn only with no continuing lane on the other side of the intersection, for example.

Related Reading: What Causes of truck Accidents Qualify for Lawsuits?

How is Fault Determined in Wide Right Turn Crashes?

Wide-turn crashes can occur when truck drivers make any number of errors, including:

  • Failing to signal a turn, or not signaling early enough (at least 100 feet beforehand)
  • Failing to wait for a safe break in traffic before beginning their turn
  • Failing to properly check for traffic or pedestrians before turning, or failing to properly set their mirrors to spot other vehicles or pedestrians in their blind spots
  • Turning too quickly
  • Allowing their trailer to swing out too wide

However, fault in these cases is often determined by “last chance” doctrine, meaning whichever driver had the last opportunity to avoid the crash also had the bulk of the responsibility to avoid it.

In wide-turn crashes, that means it often depends on who entered the intersection last. If a car in the right lane traveling straight was already entering the intersection before the truck began turning, then the truck driver should have been aware that continuing their turn would put the other driver in harm’s way. That makes the truck driver at fault.

However, if the truck driver had already signaled their turn and began moving into the intersection, then the driver attempting to pass the truck on the right should have been aware they were putting themselves on a collision course with the truck, and they can be held at fault for the wreck.

WATCH: Gary Bruce discusses lawsuits involving moving truck crashes

Why You Need a Lawyer After a Wide-Turn Accident

Proving who had the last chance to avoid the wreck can be difficult, and it often devolves into a “he said, she said” situation. Our lawyers can help prove that you weren’t at fault in your wreck through evidence such as video from traffic cameras, nearby security cameras, dashcams, witness testimony, and even accident reconstruction.

Proving you had no fault is vital, especially in Alabama where if the jury believes you were even 1% at fault for the crash, you no longer have any right to compensation, no matter how bad your injuries are.

Truck crashes often result in catastrophic injuries for the people in the smaller vehicles, due to the sheer size and weight of trucks compared to passenger vehicles. Compensation acquired through a personal injury lawsuit is often the only way an injured driver can afford the significant medical debt these types of crashes force on their victims.

Furthermore, trucking companies and their insurers know how much money is at stake and will work significantly harder to avoid paying any of it to victims. Insurance adjusters, and even out-of-town lawyers who claim to know our community, seldom know Buena Vista Road from Veterans Parkway—and couldn’t find it on a map. Be careful talking to these people, because what you say early on can make a difference in your ability to win your case.

Don’t let these people get away with denying you the money you need. Get a lawyer who is willing and ready to work just as hard as the insurers, but for your best interests instead of theirs.

After a Wide-Turn Accident, Get Gary Bruce

Our firm has handled all kinds of truck cases, and we know how badly they upend victims’ lives. Many victims never fully recover from their injuries. That is why it’s so important to get sufficient compensation.

If you were recently injured in a crash involving a truck making a wide turn, contact us today for a free consultation.