Taking Caution When Trucks Make Wide Right Turns

Trucks, whether small or hauling an oversize load, have to make wide right turns because of no visibility and “off-tracking” of the trailer. Let’s talk about what wide turns mean, and how to avoid truck accidents on the highway.

No Visibility

Unlike a left turn, when an 18-wheeler makes a tight right turn, their convex mirror is obstructed. Not good if you’re in another vehicle. This is not as much of an issue when making a left turn, however, as the driver is on the left side and can look out their window.

Truckers need to be able to see well to turn right!
Truckers need to be able to see well to turn right!

Off-Tracking of Trailer

During a right turn, a truck’s trailer (back part) does not follow the path of its tractor (front part). The trucker needs to correct for this by turner wider so that they don’t hit the curb, another vehicle or worse, a pedestrian. Truck accidents are bad news for everyone!

Hopefully you won't see a truck on a mountain like this.
Hopefully you won’t see a truck on a mountain like this.

How Do Truckers Warn About Wide Right Turns?

Because truckers need a lot of space to make wide turns, they must signal 100 ft before doing so. Additionally, all trucks must display a warning sign that lets you know about wide right turns. But you’re so informed now that you don’t even need that.

You know all about wide right turns.
You know all about wide right turns.

Moral of the story: Be courteous to trucks, obey speed limits and be cautious of wide right turns (watch that left turn as well, while we’re at it). Truck accidents can occur if a trucker doesn’t see you during wide turns, so you need to give them plenty of space to hang a right. Keep your eyes peeled when you see a truck turning at an intersection.

Make sure to check out the rest of our safe driving videos for more tips to keep you in control on the highway!