Chances are, unless you drive in downtown Houston on a regular basis, you probably find city driving to be a bit more stressful than driving around your own neighborhood, or even on the highway. While city driving is slower than the highway, everything is busier and more crowded, and people often take that as an opportunity to drive more aggressively.
For truck drivers, driving in the city is a two-fold challenge. Not only are they facing the same aggressive, often negligent drivers, but they must also maneuver a very large vehicle through tight streets. Because of trucks’ inherent difficulties in maneuvering, this means that drivers must execute each turn in unique ways to keep the truck in the road and to keep other drivers safe.
Standard right turns are one of the most common maneuvers that require extra attention, but unfortunately, many drivers of cars are unaware of how to stay safe around a truck that is making a right turn.
In order to ensure that the trailer stays fully in the road, trucks must swing wide to the left to complete a right turn. Oncoming traffic that also has a green light should be aware of right-turning trucks, and carefully watch the swing of the trailer.
The most common mistakes, however, are made from the cars that are behind a right-turning truck. Trucks may be further left from the curb to make a right turn than a car is used to, so the driver of the car may assume that the truck is going straight and attempt to pull up along the right side of the truck to turn right, themselves. As the right side of a truck is the driver’s largest blind spot, the driver may continue turning right, hitting the car in the process.
A good rule of thumb as you approach a truck waiting at an intersection is to double-check the truck’s turn signal. If the truck’s signal is flashing, stay well behind the truck, and be patient as it turns. The worst case scenario is that you may have to wait to complete your turn until the truck is clear of the intersection, but a few extra seconds is a small price to pay considering the alternative.
If you have been involved in Houston area accident involving a large semi or tractor trailer, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Harris County truck accident lawyer Steve Lee to discuss your case, and find out if you are eligible to collect damages—dial 800-232-3711 to speak with a highly skilled attorney now.