The school and community surrounding Marietta in Cobb County are mourning the loss of a beloved teacher and football coach at Osborne High.
The Georgia State Patrol says that 29-year-old Teco Browning was riding his motorcycle on Georgia Highway 92 in Douglasville on January 20th when a work truck turned left into his path causing a collision. Mr. Browning was pronounced dead on the scene.
The 58-year-old driver of the truck, Steven R. Faulkner of Douglasville, was charged with homicide by vehicle, failure to yield while turning left, and other traffic offenses.
Left Turns by Semis Can be Dangerous
Truck drivers must realize that they’re in control of a 70-foot long, 100-inch wide, 13½-foot high vehicle. At 80,000 pounds, it can take a semi 16 seconds to make a left turn, and 10 seconds to get back up to 35mph. During that time, oncoming traffic doesn’t stop, and the vehicles behind the truck also must be aware of this. Also, the driver of an 18-wheeler must make sure that the gap between the truck and oncoming vehicles is big enough to turn safely,
Big rigs are BIG. That means that they have a wider turning radius, and it takes much longer to negotiate a left turn that the average personal vehicle. When a tractor-trailer seeks to make a left turn, the driver may swing wide into the right lane to do so. By the same token, a semi may also need to swing into an oncoming lane or the far lane of traffic on the road onto which it’s turning.
Not every road in Georgia has large intersections with double turn lanes and a left-turn arrows. As a result, semis must make left-hand turns in tight spaces—while making certain that there’s no oncoming traffic. They may have to move out of their lane to make the turn, which can lead to truck accidents and injuries to the drivers of other vehicles.
What Causes Left-Hand Turn Accidents?
Left-hand turn truck accidents can be the fault of a negligent trucker, the trucking company, or the truck manufacturer. Here are some of the most-frequent causes of these accidents:
- Failing to use turn indicators (signals);
- Swinging the big rig into the far-right lane and leaving a space for vehicles to enter;
- Not using windows and mirrors to monitor and maintain proper spacing;
- Entering a turn lane too fast;
- Backing up to negotiate a turn;
- A lack of familiarity with a new route;
- Distracted driving or driver fatigue; and
- Driving while under the influence of prescription medications, illegal drugs, or alcohol.
The trucking company and the truck manufacturer may also be responsible for an accident. These causes include the following:
- Defective turn signals;
- Malfunctioning or a lack of truck mirrors;
- The semi driver’s inexperience from poor training by the company;
- A lack of qualifications and inadequate training from the trucking company;
- Overloading or improper loading of cargo;
- The truck container is top-heavy or unbalanced; and
- Poor routing or directions.
Did the Truck Driver Use the Five S’s to Successfully Make a Left Turn?
In training, truck drivers frequently learn The Five S’s while turning left. Failure to adhere to the Five S’s can result in an accident. These instructions include:
- Set up. The truck driver must be in the correct lane;
- Signal. The truck driver must turn on his or her signal at least 100 feet before the turn;
- Slow down. It’s recommended that the truck driver take the turn no faster than 10-15 mph, and if the truck container is top-heavy, it should be closer to 10 mph;
- Survey (The most critical step). Drivers must observe the entire scene to determine what the traffic is doing before and after the turn… and they must be extra careful looking for smaller vehicles like motorcycles. The truck driver should anticipate that other traffic may be exceeding the speed limit, which will decrease their closing time. And, at night, the truck driver must be twice as careful.
- Steer. Drive into and through the turn.
Ask your Atlanta truck accident attorney at Tobin Injury Law Failure to investigate whether the truck driver in your accident followed the Five S’s of making a left-hand turn.
When a tractor-trailer makes a left turn, the driver may enter another lane of traffic, resulting in a crash.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a semi accident, you should work with an experienced Atlanta truck accident attorney. Talk with a lawyer who understands state and federal commercial carrier laws and who has represented hundreds of drivers and motorcyclists who have been hurt because of the negligence of a truck driver.
You need an attorney who has the experience. At Tobin Injury Law, we have negotiated hundreds of personal injury settlements for our clients, ensuring that their needs and objectives are placed first. We know what your claim is worth, and we will devote all of our energy and efforts to producing a successful outcome for you and your loved ones.
Before you speak with a claims adjuster from an insurance company, contact an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer at Tobin Injury Law.