While large commercial vehicles are essential for transporting goods and services, they also present unique challenges and potential dangers to other motorists.
One particular type of accident that often occurs involving semitrucks is the “squeeze play” or wide-turn accident. A “squeeze play” accident typically happens when a passenger vehicle tries to pass a truck on the right at the same time the truck is trying to make a right turn.
How do these wrecks unfold and how can they be prevented?
Due to the truck’s large size and wide turn radius, the space between the truck and the curb narrows significantly during the turn. The lack of visibility due to a truck’s large blind spots can exacerbate the risk of wide-turn accidents.
Generally, truck drivers often need to start their turns from a wider position to accommodate the size of their vehicle. However, this maneuver can catch other motorists off guard, and the passenger vehicle may become trapped between the truck and the curb or another barrier, resulting in a collision. These accidents can cause severe damage to both vehicles and can lead to injuries or even fatalities – particularly for those in the smaller vehicle.
To reduce the risks associated with squeeze play and wide-turn accidents, all motorists should practice defensive driving techniques, including staying alert and extra focused around big rigs. It’s also wise to always maintain a safe distance from trucks and try to anticipate their maneuvers. Other safety measures include:
- Learning to avoid an 18-wheeler’s blind spots when you’re on either side of their trailer
- Giving the truck more space than you typically give other passenger vehicles
- Never passing a truck on the right unless it is absolutely necessary
Finally, when stopped next to a truck that may need to make a turn (right or left), be careful to give the truck some extra room. If you can avoid stopping with the nose of your vehicle level to the truck’s cab, do so.
Unfortunately, even the most careful driver can end up in an accident with a big rig. If that happens to you or your loved one, find out more about your legal options for recovery.