This month’s Safety Topic Guide focuses on the subjects of Right Hand Turns, Lane Change Accidents, Hazmat, and Log Violations. Click the link below to read the full STG.
Right Hand Turns
Wrong Way Turns
For truck drivers, managing the space around their vehicle is always a challenge. Managing that space during right hand turns can be challenging and/or dangerous. A buttonhook turn is one in which the tractor and the trailer are swung wide prior to the turn being made in order to not encroach upon oncoming traffic during the completion of the turn. This maneuver leaves enough space on the passenger side of the truck for traffic to pull into. Additionally, the passenger side of the truck is also the most difficult to see. The use of buttonhook turns should be avoided whenever possible.
The Safer Maneuver – Box Turns
Begin by setting the truck and trailer up as far to the right as possible; ideally, 1-2 feet from the curb/edge of the road. If necessary, stop a few feet before the intersection. When beginning to move again, turn the truck to the left slightly so that it is pointing at the 10:00 position. Pull forward 15-20 feet. Then turn the steering wheel all the way to the right while moving slowly. Look in the right hand mirror and note the position of the front trailer axle. Steer and counter steer to have the front axle trailer tires maintain the same distance from the curb throughout the turn.
Using this maneuver decreases the amount of space needed to make a right hand turn and effectively blocks the inside of the turn preventing traffic from passing you on the right hand side. This reduces the likelihood of being involved a right turn squeeze collision.
1. Look both ways – Clear your path of travel before beginning the turn.
2. Be Alert – Continue to watch both sets of mirrors and the front of your truck.
3. Evaluate oncoming traffic – Be sure the intersection is clear before starting your turn.
4. Know your vehicle – Be aware of how much space is needed to safely make a right hand turn.
5. Turn Slowly