Left turns, especially on city streets, are often difficult for large trucks. Because the trailer takes a different path than the cab, and because the vehicle as a whole is so long, trucks often have to make very wide turns.
For instance, say there is a light-controlled intersection with left-turn lanes on every side. A truck is driving west, but it is turning left onto the north-south road. On that road, a car is sitting in the left-turn lane, waiting to turn into the east-bound lanes — toward the truck.
If that truck turns first, it may have to turn so widely that it strikes the car in the other turn lane. The cab might make it, but the front corner of the trailer can swing into that lane. Turns are where many semi-truck accidents happen. Even at low speeds, they can cause serious injuries.
What should you do?
If you’re in a car behind a truck that’s struggling to make a turn, you may need to back up — but only if there are no cars behind you and you can do so safely. It’s the only way to clear enough space for the truck to turn.
That said, you’re not obligated to back up or to drive differently. It is up to the truck driver to make the turn safely. As long as you are properly in the lane and behind the line, you are not breaking the law. If a driver aggressively or negligently turns and hits you, the fault is not yours, even if that driver tells you after the fact that they wanted you to back up.
If you suffer injures because of a truck driver’s mistake, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. Working with an attorney is often the smartest move you can make after an accident involving a commercial vehicle.