Squeeze Play Accidents
Semi-trucks are longer, wider, and taller than passenger vehicles and may weigh 25 times more than a car. For these behemoths, making a simple turn can be one of the biggest challenges while out on the road, especially in high traffic areas. When cars pull alongside trucks that are attempting to make a right turn, they can become victims of squeeze play.What is a Squeeze Play Car Accident?
Unlike passenger cars, semi-trucks require exaggerated maneuvers in order to make right turns because of their wide turning radius. Truck drivers generally begin to swing left before turning right, driving in an arc to avoid making a dangerously sharp turn. Making this maneuver can put the truck cab in the left lane, with the trailer dragging diagonally behind it, which creates the illusion that the truck is moving left.
In this situation, motorists unaware of the truck's intention to turn right, or who wish to try to pass the semi, may accelerate forward in hopes of passing, only to be pressed against the curb as the semi finally turns right. The driver of the car then gets "squeezed" in between the semi-trailer and the curb, often sustaining severe injuries as a result.Avoiding Squeeze Play Accidents
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), motorists can avoid a squeeze play situation by paying "attention to truck signals, and [giving] them lots of room to maneuver." A truck's turn signal can obviously give motorists the necessary information to know the truck intends to turn. However, if a truck driver fails to use turn signals, or signals late, there are specific actions motorists can take to avoid an accident:
- Stay out of the truck's "no zones." These are the truck's blind spots on both sides of the trailer and directly behind and in front of the truck.
- Stay a safe distance behind trucks. Stay more than five car lengths behind semis and only pass when there's ample room.
- Never pass a truck on the right.
- Anticipate turns. If you're following a semi in the right lane, and it slows down and begins to move to the left while approaching an intersection, it may be turning right. Don't pull alongside the truck in this situation.
When truck drivers fail to drive safely, taking these precautions can help you avoid a serious accident.Talk to an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer after a Truck Accident
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a semi-truck making a right hand turn, contact the personal injury attorneys at Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall LLC. We have helped many truck accident victims in the Atlanta area as well as the cities of Macon, Savannah, Augusta, and Athens recover fair compensation for their injuries. You can contact us online or call (404) 460-0101.