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You see the signs on the back of most trucks: CAUTION! WIDE TURNS. But do you ever actually retain this information? Sure, the precautionary placard is there, but you’ve never seen a truck make that wide of a turn, so you can just go ahead and make a turn in front of them, right? Wrong. When a truck with an obvious wide turn sign has their turn signal on and they are in an outer lane, recognize that, and let them make the turn. Even if you believe there’s an opportunity to slide in and turn before they do, stray away from that temptation. There’s a chance that you could be in the truck’s blind spot, and they’ll go ahead and turn anyway, leaving you possibly wedged and causing an accident.

Allowing extra space

We just mentioned the vehicles that are on the same road as the truck that’s turning, and what the operators of those vehicles need to do. Now it’s time to look at what the drivers on the road that the truck is turning on should also do. With larger trucks, they may need extra room on their outer side, especially during a right turn. Let’s say that you are in the left lane, or on a one lane road, and are stopped at a light. If you see a truck across the way planning to make a right, sit the vehicle back away from the stop line to allow the truck making a wide turn the extra space it may need. It’s not ideal having an entire lane of traffic backing up because the first driver did not provide enough space for the truck.

Rounding the curve…safely

On the topic of wide turns, there’s also the windy highway curves that are completely unavoidable, since it’s the only path forward. No matter how sharp the curve is, there will usually be signs advising motorists to slow down when approaching. In these situations, truck drivers need to be even more precautious as they could lose control by not adhering to reduced speed limits.

For other drivers on the highway, it’s important to be aware of trucks rounding the curve beside you, as they may be slowing down or veering into another lane if the curve is too sharp. If you need to, slow down and do not drive next to them to prevent this. The caution signs warning of a truck rollover are not just for those drivers. It’s also on us to recognize that this could happen, so be careful. The important point here is defensive driving, because even though someone else may be in the wrong, it’s up to you to stay vigilant and avoid an accident.

This is the final entry in a series of blog posts putting a spotlight on road safety. Check out the first and second posts to learn more.

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