Squeeze Play And Wide Turns
Truck accidents can occur for a wide variety of reasons, including squeeze play and wide turns. If you’re not familiar with the term ‘squeeze play,’ it’s the type of accident that occurs when a vehicle is squeezed or smashed between a truck and a curb when the truck is making a turn. Since not all truck drivers safely signal or adequately gauge their surroundings when making turns, it’s important to understand how squeeze play accidents occur and what you can do to avoid them.
Because these accidents can leave victims severely and catastrophically injured, it’s critical to speak with a personal injury attorney who has proven truck accident case experience as soon after a squeeze play accident as possible.
Typically, a squeeze play accident happens when a car is passing or attempting to pass a truck during a turn. Because tractor trailers are so large and much longer than traditional passenger vehicles, they must often veer left before they can make a right turn, otherwise they might risk driving over the curb, clipping other vehicles or simply turning too sharply. Unfortunately, this maneuver, if done improperly can leave other drivers thinking that the truck is simply making a lane change, and not setting up for a turn. This can be confusing and counterintuitive for other motorists on the road who may think they can move into the now-empty lane or pass the truck that appears to be changing lanes. While the car is attempting to get past the truck, the truck then cuts right to make a turn, effectively running over the smaller vehicle, or sandwiching, squeezing or smashing it between a curb, other cars, a wall or other barrier in the roadway.
Caution: Wide Right Turns
Many of us see these stickers and signs on the back of semi trucks that say “Caution: Wide Right Turns,” but how often to we really think about why they’re there? Right turns are typically where squeeze play accidents occur, and while we might be aware of and conscious of the dangers of wide right turns, we might not always think that a truck will veer left first, or make what appears to be a lane change prior to a turn. If done safely and correctly, there shouldn’t be any problem, but not all drivers make safe wide right turns, so always remain as vigilant as possible around large trucks, and contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible if you’ve been injured in a crash.
Avoiding squeeze play accidents is all about being aware of your surroundings and making sure to give semi trucks plenty of room to maneuver. Being aware of wide right turns means that sometimes truck drivers will appear to pull left in order to leave enough room for a safe turn. They aren’t changing lanes, so don’t try to pass on the right. Pay attention to the signaling of big rigs too, not just their actions in the roadway. Ultimately, if you’re keeping a safe distance between your car and the large truck, passing only on the left, when it’s safe to do so, you should be okay.
Safety Tips For Driving Around Big Rigs
- Stay out of the truck’s blind spots or “no zones,” when possible. This is the area on either side of the truck and directly in front of and behind the rig. A driver can’t see you there.
- Keep a safe distance when following behind large trucks. Leave at least five car lengths between your car and the big rig, and only pass when there’s enough room to safely to do.
- Never pass a truck on the right.
- Anticipate turns. Be vigilant and watchful when large trucks begin to slow down, especially near intersections. If a truck begins to pull left near an intersection, the driver may be setting up for a right hand turn, so don’t pull along side or move into the right lane.
Since these accidents are often very traumatic and involve a heavy amount of physical vehicle damage, they can be incredibly dangerous for occupants in the other cars. If you’re car is between a barrier or curb and a tractor trailer, something’s got to give, and it’s probably going to be your vehicle. It’s not uncommon to hear about severe spinal cord injuries, amputations, lacerations and other severely catastrophic injuries in these types of accidents. In many cases, the trucks or cars weren’t even going that fast at the time of the wreck. It’s the sheer physical force of a vehicle getting squished by an 80,000-pound vehicle that does the most damage.
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