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Who is at Fault in a Wide Right Turn Truck Accident?

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the definition of wide right turn accidents and the different types of motor vehicle collisions occurring from these.
  • Learn what happens when large trucks do not properly make right-hand turns
  • Understand the intricacies of wide right turns and the skills truck drivers need to navigate them safely.
  • Gain knowledge about what is involved in a wide turn accident.
  • Get an understanding of liability about wide right turn truck accidents and how fault is determined in Virginia.
  • Find out how a knowledgeable Virginia personal injury attorney helps you navigate the complex landscape of personal injury law regarding motor vehicle accidents.
  • Obtain answers to frequently asked questions so you know what to expect if involved in a wide right-turn collision with a truck.

Have you ever noticed the warning sticker on semi-trucks cautioning about wide right turns? When a truck has to make a right turn, the driver has to move precisely to steer around a tight corner.

Poorly maneuvered turns can cause trucks to roll or collide with other vehicles, causing immense damage and severe injury. If you have been involved in an accident with a truck making a wide right turn in Virginia, you need to understand your rights and options for recovery.

The compassionate and experienced truck accident attorneys at Montagna Law understand the difficulties victims face in the aftermath of a crash. Contact our law firm at 877-622-8100 to schedule a free case evaluation.

What is a Wide Turn Truck Accident?

Truck driver hitting a car on a wide turn

Trucks, including tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, and other commercial trucks, typically take up a large amount of road space, especially when encountering a need to make a right-hand turn. In this scenario, trucks need to occupy an additional traffic lane to safely navigate their turn.

If a truck makes a turn too wide, narrow, fast, or without accuracy, a serious accident can occur, especially if other drivers cannot move out of the way in time or if the truck driver simply does not see them in their blind spot.

Types of Wide Right Turn Accidents

When a truck driver does not make a right turn with care, they can seriously injure or kill someone with their careless, reckless, or negligent driving behaviors. Common types of wide right turn accidents include:

  • Right turn on a two-lane road. Drivers maneuvering a right turn onto a two-lane road may swing into the direct line of oncoming traffic.
  • Right turn on a multi-lane road. A driver may navigate into an adjacent lane to complete their right-hand turn but could crash head-on into other vehicles if they fail to check their blind spot, are distracted, or are moving too fast.
  • Rollovers. Trucks have a high center of gravity, and their weight may topple if the driver is moving too fast or trying to make too sharp of a turn.
  • Passenger vehicles squeeze in. If another motorist attempts to squeeze into the adjacent lane when a truck prepares a wide right turn, and the truck driver does not see them or make it clear they are turning right, it could lead to a collision.

Any of these scenarios could lead to serious injury or death.

What Happens When a Large Truck Makes a Right-Hand Turn?

wide turn truck accident example in virginia

Due to the sheer size of trucks, such as tractor-trailers, drivers need a specific skill set to properly navigate right-hand turns. Common contributors to wide right turn accidents include the following driver actions:

  • Failing to use turn signals
  • Neglecting to properly use windows and mirrors
  • Entering a lane too quickly
  • Backing up to finish a turn
  • Lacking experience in driving a large truck
  • Experiencing fatigue
  • Failing to complete training
  • Not possessing qualifications
  • Being unfamiliar with a new route
  • Experiencing impairment due to use of alcohol or drugs

If a driver fails to properly make a turn, it can lead to serious injury or death for the vehicles into which they collide.

Guidelines for Trucks Making Turns

truck driver making a wide turn

Every state, including Virginia, has guidelines in CDL training manuals for wide right turn scenarios. All drivers should know the proper steps to take when navigating turns.

  • Keep the truck as close as possible to the curb when making a right turn
  • Swing wide when finishing a right turn, not at the beginning
  • Give oncoming vehicles enough space to stop, slow down, or get out of the way
  • Never back up
  • Use right-hand lanes when making left turns
  • Start left-hand turns after entering the intersection

Truckers neglecting to follow CDL guidelines are liable for injuries and damage, along with their employer or other company personnel in some cases.

What Should I Do if I’m Involved in an Accident With a Truck Making a Wide Right Turn?

If you are involved in a truck accident, you should take the following steps:

  1. Call 911 so police and emergency personnel can arrive at the scene.
  2. Obtain medical treatment immediately to treat injuries, even if you do not feel hurt, so everything is documented and unseen injuries may be detected.
  3. Take photos of the accident scene and of your injuries.
  4. Obtain the truck operator’s name, driver’s license information, contact information, license plate number, and insurance company details.
  5. Avoid giving statements to insurance companies before calling an attorney.

Who is Liable in a Wide Right Turn Truck Accident in Virginia?

In most instances, the driver making the wide turn is found to be liable since riders traveling in their designated lane have the right-of-way through intersections. Drivers should wait until oncoming traffic clears before beginning their turn.

However, fault is not always easy to discern. You should always consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer so they can ascertain the facts and identify liable parties.

How to Prove Fault in a Wide Right Turn Truck Accident in Virginia

If you or a loved one is involved in a wide right turn truck accident in Virginia, it is to your benefit to work with an experienced truck driver accident attorney. Due to Virginia’s harsh contributory negligence laws, you will want to gather the following evidence to help you prove fault.

  • Police report
  • Photos of accident scene and vehicle damage
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Documentation of your injuries
  • Data from the truck’s event data recorder (“black box”)
  • In-cab camera footage
  • Driver logbooks
  • Driver cellphone records
  • Driver alcohol and drug testing results
  • Maintenance records of truck
  • Commercial truck driver’s personnel records

One of the biggest challenges in this type of accident case is most trucks requiring wide turns have signage on the back warning other motorists their truck takes wide turns. If the plaintiff is behind the truck or to the side, there is a chance they might be found contributory negligent. The more evidence you can assemble, the stronger your case.

What If Both Parties Are at Fault?

The commercial truck driver has a responsibility to properly navigate a wide turn, although sometimes other drivers are negligent and also contribute to a crash. As mentioned, Virginia has a strict “pure contributory negligence rule,” meaning if you are found partially to blame, even very minor, you do not have a case. To be eligible to file a case, the truck driver must be 100% at fault.

How a Virginia Truck Lawyer Can Help Your Case

Working with Virginia legal representation can help you obtain the compensation you need and deserve to cover the cost of your injuries, damages, and other losses. Your lawyer can help you:

  • Investigate the crash
  • Collect evidence
  • Identify liable parties
  • Conduct eyewitness interviews
  • Obtain “black box” data and dash-cam footage
  • Speak to doctors to ascertain your injuries and long-term needs
  • Assign a dollar amount to your economic and non-economic damages, including pain and suffering
  • Assemble a personal injury claim
  • Negotiate with insurance companies
  • Provide legal advice regarding your personal injury case
  • Take the case to trial, if necessary

Insurance companies do not necessarily put your needs as a priority. They want to avoid paying, and truck driving companies will typically fight back. Your attorney will advocate in your best interests.

Why Work With Montagna Law

Montagna Law is fully committed to helping injury victims obtain the compensation they need to cover medical expenses, lost income, loss of future earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other losses.

Our legal team has been proudly serving the entire Hampton Roads area for decades. We will work tirelessly on your behalf to prove the negligence of the at-fault party.


“I love that my concerns are ALWAYS addressed, and my phone calls are returned. Great staff!!” — Sickler J.

Related Topics

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Why Doesn’t My Settlement Cover My Car Accident Injuries? Find out your options concerning your medical bills if your settlement does not sufficiently cover them.

Companies With The Most Truck Accidents Some trucking companies have worse accident records than others. Discover which ones have the most accidents.

When You Need Help, Turn to Montagna Law

The aftermath of a truck accident is often devastating. If you have suffered a serious injury or are dealing with the tragedy of your loved one’s wrongful death due to being hit by a turning truck, the caring and compassionate attorneys at Montagna Law want to help.

We will perform a thorough case review of your truck accident case and outline your legal options. You should not have to deal with pain, suffering, or high medical bills for an accident that was not your fault.

To obtain a free consultation, contact us at 877-622-8100 or fill out our online contact form. Montagna Law proudly serves the entire Hampton Roads area, including Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Suffolk.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Trucks Required to Warn You That They Make Wide Right Turns?

Yes, commercial vehicles are required to warn motorists they are planning a wide right turn. They must:

  • Signal 100 feet before beginning their turn
  • Display warning signs letting motorists know about wide turns.

This way, motorists are aware the truck may enter their turning lane.

How to Avoid Wide Turn Accidents

All car drivers should do their part to avoid collisions with large trucks. Here are important tips to remember to avoid being on the other end of a wide turn crash.

  • Pay close attention to any trucker that signals their intention to make a turn.
  • Give trucks plenty of space if you see them entering the left or right lane, especially if they might not see you, many trucks require two lanes when making wide turns.
  • Leave a minimum of four seconds between you and a large vehicle (increase this time during inclement weather).
  • Never pass tractor-trailers or semi-trucks on the right-hand side because your car can become trapped between them and the curb as they turn.
  • Be aware of truck driver blind spots and make an effort to avoid being in one
  • Pass trucks quickly and only do so from the left lane while not going up or downhill.
  • Before getting in front of a truck while passing, never enter until you clearly see the truck driver in your rearview mirror.
  • Always use signals to let other motorists know your intentions.
  • Use care when merging from other lanes, and leave plenty of space so commercial drivers can see you.

You should also avoid any driver distractions when navigating your vehicle, whether large commercial trucks are around or not.

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