It’s a common scenario: You’re following behind a tractor-trailer on the highway. At the next intersection, the truck begins to make a U-turn. Although you try to stop, you are unable to and run right into the truck. You are severely injured and your car is totaled. What just happened?
Unfortunately, these accidents occur all the time. A tractor-trailer making a U-turn is a dangerous maneuver, so dangerous that some trucking companies have banned drivers from performing a U-turn. Yet, when the driver is lost or makes a wrong turn, his/her first instinct is to turn the 80,000-pound truck around. This puts everyone’s lives at risk.
For decades, the Pennsylvania U-turn truck accident lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli have been fighting for those injured in U-turn accidents across the state. With years of experience, we are ready to take on the trucking companies on your behalf.
Why U-Turns Are Dangerous for Tractor-Trailers
When a tractor-trailer makes a U-turn, legal or not, the consequences can be deadly. According to PennDOT, there were 14,123 improper turning-related accidents in the Commonwealth in 2016. Of those accidents, 61 caused a fatal collision.
Not only does the action put the truck driver at risk of a severe accident, but endangers the lives of everyone on the road. Some dangers include:
- Visability is limited. When making a U-turn, the driver’s visibility becomes limited. The trucker will lose sight of both sides of their vehicles and will be unable to see any obstacles in front of or behind the tractor-trailer. And when the U-turn is made during the evening hours, the darkness makes it even more difficult to see.
- Difficulty maneuvering the vehicle. There’s only so much room on the roadways, especially in rural areas and on Philly streets. Just the sheer size of a tractor-trailer makes it difficult to turn. In order to successfully complete a U-turn, the truck driver will need to move the truck both backward and forward multiple times in the space available. And with limited space and lack of visibility, the risk of an accident is increased.
- Several lanes are blocked. Not only can it be difficult to swing the truck around, but chances are the tractor-trailer will block both lanes of traffic. This is not only an inconvenience to everyone on the road but could cause an indirect crash between other vehicles when traffic is forced to come to a stop.