18 Wheeler Big Rigs and the Dangerous Right Turn



Truck drivers admittedly recognize that making a right turn with their long and heavy loads is not easy.  Every experienced big rig driver will admit that negotiating a right turn can be downright dangerous and likely have many accounts they could tell demonstrating this.

Clearly, the size of the big rigs themselves require that the big rig operators understand the special techniques required to negotiate right hand turns and be even more vigilant for pedestrians and vehicles around them while they negotiate the turn.

A common scenario leading to a collision between a big rig and an auto during a right hand turn is due to the ‘swinging rear.’ As the truck makes its right turn, the rear of the trailer will swing in the opposite direction.  In other words, to the left. This can cause a portion of the rear end of the truck end to up several inches (perhaps even feet) over into the adjoining lane. Should a car be there while the truck is ‘swinging’ over into the lane and comes into contact with another car, the force has at times caused these cars to be then pushed out of their lane and into the next adjoining lane resulting in the middle car getting crushed.  The collisions are especially dangerous when the car that got hit by the rear of the big rig gets pushed in a lane involving traffic going in the opposite direction.

The size and length of many tractor trailers is an issue when negotiating the right turn which can be compounded if the street is not very wide.   Oftentimes, truck drivers find themselves actually crossing the double lines of a two way street in order to get their big rig setup to complete the right hand turn.  Therefore, many 18 wheeler tractor trailer collisions involve vehicles that were heading in the opposite direction of the big rig but were struck during the turn.

Pedestrians can also be crushed during a right hand turn scenario.  At times, a pedestrian will pass while the  big rig while it is negotiating the right hand turn. Many pedestrians, especially children, have nearly no experience walking near big rigs and may not take into consideration that the big rig will come swinging back.  Other times, a big rig operator will simply end up crossing  into the bike or pedestrian lanes taking the bicyclist or pedestrian by surprise. Sadly these accidents usually result in severe injury or death.

We at the Law Offices of Edward A. Smith respects those in the big rig community and the services they provide our nation.  Many tractor trailer operators have years of safe driving habits.  Many, however, have not been adequately trained in safety.

Pedestrians and drivers of vehicles, can better protect themselves by understanding the mechanics of big rig right hand turns and do everything in their power to avoid ‘squeezing’ around a big rig.

We at the Law Offices of Edward A. Smith have handled many tractor trailer cases and we are experienced with helping families whose loved ones  are fighting for their life after a trucking accidents.  Unfortunately, the sheer weight, size and length of 18 wheelers cause much more damage to those that are hit and the victims may end up with life-altering injuries that can be  life altering and  costly to care for.  Consult with a  qualified Sacramento trucking accident attorney that has experience in litigating trucking lawsuits.

You can contact our office, Law Offices of Edward A. Smith, via phone (800) 404-5400 or (916) 921-6400, via our website or write Ed Smith directly at

You can see what others say about our staff at Law Offices of Edward A. Smith on Yelp, Facebook or on Google reviews.  You can also check out AVVO, the premier attorney rating site, to learn more about their practice.   Additionally, you can always request a friendly no-obligation consultation to meet them, get answers to your questions, and see if they are the right fit for you.








Client Reviews

  • Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!
  • Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation.
  • Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything.
  • Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime.
  • I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone.
  • Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury.