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St. Louis Car Crashes Involving Semi-Trucks

Negotiating a right turn in an eighteen-wheel truck can be an extremely difficult task.

semi truck car crash

The sheer size of an eighteen-wheel truck causes difficulty in turning and the situation can become complicated when there are other cars and pedestrians on the road. This requires a truck driver to be even more vigilant and cautious while negotiating a right turn.

The ‘Swinging Rear’ of a Semi-Truck

The most common cause of truck accidents, in this case, is the ‘swinging rear’. When an eighteen-wheel truck makes a right turn, the rear end of the trailer swings in the opposite direction, towards the left. The swinging rear can end up several inches or at times several feet onto the adjoining lane. If a car comes in contact with the rear of the truck, it may get pushed onto the next lane and a car in this lane is pushed onto the next lane. This chain effect can cause the middle car to be crushed between the two cars. The situation becomes critical if a car gets pushed on the lane with the opposite flow of traffic.

The size and length of a truck become an issue when the driver has to make a right turn onto a two-way street that is not very wide. The truck must cross over the double lines dividing the street and is in the way of traffic coming from the opposite direction. Vehicles can get struck and serious accidents can occur if the driver of a vehicle coming from the opposite direction is not paying attention.

Pedestrians and Semi-Trucks

There are accidents involving eighteen wheelers and pedestrians. Pedestrians and especially children may not be aware of the dangers that a turning truck poses and may try to cross a street or go around the truck while it is turning. The swinging rear of the truck can hit the pedestrian, resulting in serious injuries and even death. These large trucks may at times cross over to the pedestrian or bicycle lanes taking a cyclist by surprise. An injury in such accidents is often life-altering or fatal.

Most truck drivers have years of experience and drive extremely safe. However, there are others who do not have adequate training in safety. What is required is adequate knowledge of mechanisms of a right turn to make driving safer for the truck driver and others on the road. Pedestrians and motorists should exercise precautions while a big truck is negotiating a right turn and not try to ‘squeeze around’ an eighteen wheeler.

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Updated: April 4, 2024