How Wide is a Wide Turn for a Truck?

Having a reputable truck accident lawyer who wins in court is so important. When many Georgians picture a trucking accident, they think of high-speed collisions, screeching hydraulic brakes, and pile-ups on the I-285, the I-75, or another highway around Atlanta. And while those accidents do frequently occur, other accidents at slower speeds often take place too.

Although there are daily big rig accidents on the busy roads around the state, a semi accident can also happen at lower speeds on city streets. These “close-quarters” types of accidents can also cause serious injuries. One common type of these accidents is a wide turn accident.

Because of the size of semis and their large turning radiuses, they need to negotiate turns much differently from the way that passenger cars or light trucks do—especially when a big rig makes a right turn.

Making a Turn With an 18-Wheeler

When a semi driver has to make a tight right turn, he or she will typically need to move over a lane to the left so they have enough space to turn right. In other words, the semi has to swing to the left to have the space to negotiate the turn. This means the truck may need to veer into oncoming traffic. When the semi completes the turn, it will correct back into the right-hand lane.

It’s important for Georgia motorists to understand that when the semi swings over to the left to make the turn, it creates an open space on the right. Cars and motorcycles may enter into that area, but when the semi completes its turn, there’s nowhere to go because that space closes on them. This means that smaller vehicles can wind up trapped between the big rig and the curb. Cars and motorcycles can be crushed; forced into utility poles, traffic lights, or other fixtures; get squeezed into another vehicle; or even sideswipe a building.

When someone is seriously injured in a wide turn accident, an experienced accident attorney is needed to determine if the driver of the 18-wheeler is at fault. The driver may have acted negligently by failing to take the proper precautions during the turn.

How are Semi Drivers Negligent in Wide Right Turn Trucking Accidents?

There are a number of ways in which a commercial truck driver can negligently negotiate a wide right turn that results in serious injury to other motorists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. This typically occurs when the semi driver fails to take the proper precautions when making a wide turn. This error may be a breach of duty that may demonstrate negligence on the part of the truck driver. A few of the common errors that a commercial truck driver can make while making a wide right turn include the following:

  • Turning from the wrong lane;
  • Swinging too far to the left into oncoming traffic, which can result in a head-on collision;
  • Failing to signal prior to beginning the turn;
  • Failing to address a large blind spot by incorrectly setting mirrors and/or cameras;
  • Making the turn too fast, which can frequently cause a serious rollover accident;
  • Failing to wait for oncoming traffic and those behind in the righthand lane to clear before making the turn;
  • Failing to be aware of the traffic and pedestrians in the area before making the wide turn;
  • Driving while tired or beyond the consecutive hour driving limits;
  • Texting while making the turn; and
  • Driving while incapacitated by alcohol drugs (even with prescription medicine).

Can the Driver’s Employer, the Trucking Company, Be Held Liable?

Yes. In many cases, it’s possible that the driver’s employer, the trucking company, is in some way responsible for damages related to a wide turn collision. An experienced Georgia accident attorney can investigate to see if the company had policy deficiencies or mistakes in hiring, training, or monitoring the driver. Trucking companies may liable because of issues of:

  • Poor supervision of a semi truck driver;
  • Incomplete or substandard education;
  • Failing to reprimand or terminate violating drivers;
  • Failing to enforce federal and state commercial truck regulations; and
  • Negligent hiring practices.


A wide turn semi accident can result in severe damage and serious injury to victims. A lawsuit may be the best course of action to help compensate the victims for the losses suffered because of the negligent acts of the truck driver and his or her employer. If you have been injured in a wide turn accident, consult an experienced Atlanta truck accident attorney for free.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has been injured in a semi accident, you should work with an experienced Atlanta truck accident attorney. Our law firm understands state and federal commercial carrier laws and have represented hundreds of Georgia motorists and motorcyclists who have been hurt because of the negligence of a truck driver and trucking companies.

Before you speak with a claims adjuster from an insurance company, contact an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer at Tobin Injury Law.