Turning Left and Right

Objective: To prevent turning accidents by anticipating the hazards involved and knowing how to safely avoid them.

Description: Making left or right turns with long vehicles creates problems that automobile drivers do not have. Blind spots make it difficult to see other vehicles. Vehicle length forces drivers to make wide turns, encroaching upon adjacent lanes of traffic. Improper tracking of vehicles makes it difficult for the driver to judge position. Turning takes longer to complete, thus increasing exposure time to hazards. Drivers should recognize the hazards created while turning and follow proper procedures to minimize them.

Questions for Management:

  1. Have your drivers been trained regarding safe turning procedures? How? When?
  2. By whom? To what standard of performance?
  3. Do you know if your drivers are practicing safe turning procedures?
  4. Do you ever have qualified personnel ride with your drivers to assess safe driving habits?
  5. Have you examined routes used to minimize travel and turning at difficult or hazardous intersections?
  6. Have you considered attaching "Wide Right Turn" decal on rear of vehicles?

Maintenance Checks:

  • Broken mirrors, loose mountings, and mirror adjustment.
  • Tail light, brake light, and turn signal function.

Driving Tips:

Right turns:

  • Move to the right lane well in advance of intersection, positioned to make a safe turn.
  • When turning, keep rear of vehicle to the right, blocking other vehicles from passing on the right.
  • If encroaching upon other lanes, wait for other vehicles to clear and then turn slowly.
  • Be careful that improper tracking does not cause the vehicle or trailer to ride up onto curb or strike stationary objects.

Left turns:

  • As you approach turn with signal on, watch for drivers who may misinterpret this signal as an intention to turn somewhere before your intended turning point.
  • Do not start turning until there is enough time for the rear of vehicle to clear the intersection without forcing opposing drivers to slow down or swerve.
  • Do not assume opposing drivers will see you. They may be looking elsewhere.
  • Be careful that improper tracking does not cause the vehicle or trailer to interfere with pedestrians and other vehicles.
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