Trucks, semi-trailers, and 18-wheelers require special training to operate and can be difficult to control. Because of their extra length and weight, these larger trucks require a wide turning radius that creates significant blind spots. Wide turns increase the likelihood of accidents which can cause significant personal injury. Vancouver and other busy cities are especially challenging to navigate in a large truck as there is less room for a large truck to pivot and more traffic to contend with.
An experienced personal injury lawyer in Vancouver will know all too well that the results can be tragic when a larger truck collides with a smaller vehicle. According to Transport Canada, crashes involving larger vehicles such as trucks and buses represent only 8.7% of total collisions, but account for 21% of fatalities.
A better understanding of how large trucks turn can help motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians reduce the risk of collision: in some circumstances, to allow sufficient space for the truck’s cabin and trailer to follow, it is necessary for a truck to swing wide to turn safely, meaning that the truck will move out of its lane and into the lane beside before executing a turn. A truck will swing to the right for a left turn and to the left for a right turn.
Wide-turning trucks present danger for other users of the road such as cyclists and pedestrians. For example, a cyclist must be cautious when riding or stopping beside a truck that is turning as the driver may not know the cyclist is there. To be safe, cyclists should never pass a truck on the right, and should move a few feet from the road or go up on the curb to allow some space between themselves and the truck. Pedestrians standing at the corner of an intersection are vulnerable if the trailer drives up onto the curb; they should stand back from the roadway and keep a keen eye for wide-turning trucks.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (TranBC) has compiled a list of ten ways for you to safely share the road with transport trucks. Here is a summary of the key guidelines:
If you have been injured in a collision with a wide-turning truck, protect your interests and secure top compensation by hiring a lawyer who understands personal injury law. Vancouver-based Bronson Jones & Company LLP lawyers and the lawyers at each of our 13 offices located throughout the Lower Mainland know the law and are ready to provide you with a free initial consultation.