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Swinging Turns

Indianapolis Truck Accident Law

The Indiana truck accident lawyers at Parr Richey Frandsen Patterson Kruse LLP have succeeded in winning multi-million dollar awards for victims of negligence. With over 75 years of combined experience, we have the knowledge and skill required to pursue the full spectrum of personal injury claims. Our offices in Lebanon and Indianapolis provide caring, professional service to individuals and victims throughout the state.

Swinging Turns

Trucks, buses, and tractor-trailers require more space than other vehicles to turn. The ability to avoid a collision while doing so requires skill. For this reason, a commercial driver’s license is necessary to operate trucks. Swinging turns refer to the driver’s need to move into another lane of traffic to start the turn. Improper turns can result in various accidents involving:

  • Rollovers
  • Curb wheel
  • “Off-tracking”
  • Rear blind spots
  • Oncoming traffic
  • Passing motorists
  • Sudden lane changes
  • Pedestrian crosswalks
  • Tipping over on incline

As the truck turns a corner, the rear of the vehicle swings in the opposite direction of the turn. Drivers must be aware of traffic in the left lane to start a right turn and reach the center of an intersection before turning left. In some cases, the truck must cross into oncoming traffic lanes to turn. Swinging turns are often the cause of vehicle collisions.

Swinging Turn Accidents

The need for wide berth is especially dangerous in right turns. When the driver swings too far left to start the turn, motorists in back may think the truck is turning left. If the rear of the truck is not close enough to the curb on the right, motorists may try to pass. As the driver turns sharply to the right after the back wheels pass the tightest part of the curve, the truck can often hit another vehicle. As such, commercial drivers are advised to allow motorists in oncoming lanes to pass and to use the right-hand lane if two left turn lanes are available.

Turning Accidents and Negligence

Commercial drivers often make mistakes during swinging turns, causing accidents and injury. Even at low speeds, the impact of an 80,000-pound truck carrying tons of cargo can be deadly. Negligence refers to careless conduct leading to injury and liability. Negligent swinging turns may involve:

  • Intoxication
  • Inexperience
  • Driver fatigue
  • Failure to yield
  • Unsecured cargo
  • Distracted driving
  • Overloaded vehicle
  • Poor braking techniques
  • Steering on steep incline
  • Speeding, failure to yield
  • Violation of service hours

When truck drivers fail to safely negotiate swinging turns, they may be liable for negligence. Because commercial companies are liable for the negligence of their drivers, other motorists injured in the accident may recover compensation from multiple parties and their insurers.