Wide swinging turns of a tractor-trailer truck pose a great danger to other vehicle occupants and pedestrians. Wide swinging turns reduce the driver’s visibility, especially in the direction of the turn. For instance, the driver will have great difficulty seeing any object that is alongside the right side of the truck when it swings left to turn right. Road dimensions, speed at the time of taking the turn, vehicle length, and vehicle width all play a role in determining the amount of room needed to complete the turn safely. The truck driver must be extra vigilant about his surroundings and make certain of a clear line of sight to avoid striking anything in the road. Wide swinging turn crashes can cause serious injury or death to anyone who gets caught in the truck’s path. The wide turn attorneys of Kenneth J. Annis & Associates are skilled at determining who is to blame for injuries caused by a wide swinging truck.
The turning radius of a truck is closely related to the length of the truck and the width of the road. The radius, or swing as determined by the front, outside tire, can be anticipated by the conscientious driver. According to the Trucker’s Report, the minimum angle of the turn and road width must be known to the driver to know if the truck can “make the swing.” If the turn angle is 30 degrees, for example, then the minimum road width must be 16 feet, 6 inches to allow a standard length 18-wheeler to negotiate the turn safely. If the turn angle is 60 degrees, then the road must be 24 feet, 6 inches wide for safe passage.
Turning a large truck requires calculation of how wide the swing must go and how far of an overhang the front of the truck will cause as it makes the turn. One characteristic of wide swing turns is referred to as “off-tracking.” Off-tracking is defined as the difference in paths the front wheels take as compared to the path that the rear wheels take. The two sets of wheels do not follow the same path. While the truck is offtrack, the outside, front of the tractor overhangs the front axle. Similarly, the front, outside corner of the trailer overhangs the axle. The front overhang makes the truck seem wider than its actual length.
The experienced truck accident attorney will know how to handle a wide swing accident. The experienced attorney will examine all of the factors that caused your injuries. The attorney will need to interview or depose the driver, other trucking company personnel, and individuals who loaded the truck. The attorney will explore factors such as driver fatigue, inattentive driving, an insufficient line of sight, speed, and braking to determine how a wide swing crash occurred. The experienced attorney also should investigate other potential causes, such as insufficient training, failure to train, overloading, and mechanical failure.
In addition to interviewing and/or deposing several witnesses, the wide swing crash attorney will need to gather relevant documents. Relevant documents, such as maintenance logs, driver logs, load manifests, training logs, and licensing materials are extremely helpful in building a successful case. These documents will demonstrate whether the truck was properly maintained and whether the driver was qualified to drive the load on the day in question.
For more information about how Kenneth J. Annis & Associates can help you if you or a loved one was injured in a wide swing truck crash, call 202-785-2244 to schedule your free consultation. With over 40 years of experience representing truck accident victims, Kenneth J. Annis & Associates has the knowledge and skill to win the compensation you deserve.