Did a trucker make a U-turn and crash into your vehicle?
Truck drivers who make improper U-turns put every other driver on the road at risk of serious injury. That’s why some states and trucking companies have banned commercial truck drivers from making these maneuvers.
Alabama Laws on Trucks Making U-Turns
Alabama law states that all drivers must ensure that any turn – including a U-turn – meets the following two conditions before proceeding:
- The driver can make the turn with “reasonable safety.”
- The driver gives the appropriate turn signal continuously for at least 100 feet before turning.
While the law does not explicitly reference truckers or U-turns, it applies to both. Therefore, an Alabama trucker should not make a U-turn if doing so could reasonably harm others. If they do so and someone gets hurt, they could be held legally responsible for the victim’s injuries.
Why Commercial Truck U-Turns Are Dangerous
There are several reasons why U-turns by commercial trucks are dangerous, including the following:
- Wide axis – Commercial trucks are much larger than other vehicles, so completing any turn requires more space and time.
- Narrow roads – Many Alabama roads are too narrow for a semi-truck to complete a U-turn, causing a truck to get stuck and back up traffic.
- Blind spots – Large trucks have massive blind spots, which expand when attempting to complete a U-turn. Most truck drivers do not have a passenger who can help them monitor activity on the opposite side of the vehicle.
- Congestion – Because a large truck requires more time to complete a 180-degree turn and regain speed heading in the opposite direction, U-turns exacerbate traffic congestion.
Serious Truck Accidents Are Likely with U-Turns
When a truck driver completes a U-turn despite the apparent dangers, they increase the likelihood of a severe accident.
Here are common accidents caused by dangerous U-turns:
- Wide turn accidents – If a truck driver fails to anticipate the space they need to complete a U-turn, they could strike nearby vehicles.
- Blind spot accidents – If drivers fail to check their blind spots before beginning a U-turn, they may collide with unseen vehicles around them.
- T-bone accidents – A large truck making a U-turn may cross into several lanes of traffic for a significant period, increasing the likelihood of a T-bone accident.
- Underride accidents – Other vehicles could get trapped underneath the trailer of a large truck attempting a U-turn.
- Jackknife accidents – A truck driver who takes a U-turn at unsafe speed risks causing a jackknife accident, in which the tractor and the trailer fold in on each other at the point of articulation.
- Rollover accident – Because of their high center of gravity, extreme weight, and potentially unsecured loads, the risk of a truck tipping over is higher when it makes sharp turns, especially at speed.
When truck drivers cause accidents, victims can suffer severe injuries, such as lacerations, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries. Some of these injuries can turn fatal.
Call an Alabama Truck Accident Attorney Today for Help
If a semi-truck driver in Alabama acted negligently while making a U-turn and injured you, you can seek compensation for your related losses. Contact the Alabama truck accident lawyers at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., for a free consultation with an Alabama semi-truck accident lawyer.