As truck drivers, making safe turns can be tricky business. Most medium-heavy duty trucks have warnings labeled on the back showing other drivers that they make ‘wide right turns.’ Accidents involving tractor trailers are often the result of the vehicle’s difficult steering limitations. Don’t fret! There are ways to avoid these costly mishaps by always incorporating safe turns into your driving.
To Perform Safe Turns, Keep your Wheels Close to the Curb
As a commercial driver, you want to keep your driving record as squeaky clean as possible. Too many accidents, points, or violations could lead to the revocation of your license, which in your case, means no job. Accidents, even if they aren’t your fault can go on your driving record, so always practicing safe turns is in your best interest. Keeping your wheels close to the curb when making a wide right turn will keep others cars from trying to pass you on the right. A lot of wide right turn truck accidents occur when others drivers ignore warnings posted on the back of your tractor trailer. Being aware of this, and consistently using your tractor trailer as a barrier will keep other drivers from illegally trying to pass you on the right.
Safe Turns Will Keep you From Landing in A Ditch
Find a balance! Keeping wheels too close to the curb can land you in a ditch if you’re too thorough. If you’re driving on a road without wheel barriers, but instead, a sloping incline sits to you right, try not to get too close. Pulling out too close to the right side of the road will cause the back half of your tractor trailer to slip off of the road. If there is a wonderful, grassy slope next to you, you will land yourself in a ditch. If you cause any accidents when this series of unfortunate events occurs, points will go on you license, and your company’s insurance will pay for the damages. You’ll be stuck in a ditch at work as well, and you don’t want that.
Other Useful Tips For Making Safe Turns
- Signal 100 ft before making a turn– if you’re in heavy traffic, make sure to do so 500 ft in advance.
- Don’t swing out too far– your front end will swing into oncoming traffic, on the road perpendicular to you. For obvious reason, you do not want this.
- Check your mirrors often– you always want to make sure there aren’t vehicles too close to you when performing safe turns.
- Block traffic in the right lane– Don’t give other vehicles the opportunity to illegally pass you on the right.
- Always check blind spots– When operating a freight vehicle, blind spots are all around you. Be sure to check them often to make sure others aren’t too close to you before making a safe turn. Many tractor trailer accidents occur because of this.