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Why Left Turns Are So Dangerous When Trucks Are Involved

Everyone knows that intersection is the major hotspot on the road for traffic accidents. It is where all road vehicles converge, and for many, the right of way rules of the road still seem to allude them. While right turns and waiting at the light are relatively harmless, left turns are where the real dangers present themselves. However, while many “t-bone” accidents happen at intersections as one car tries to turn and the other tries to go straight, they are much more common between cars and trucks, but why is this?

The most common scenario is that both vehicles want to beat the light. The semi-truck is kept on a strict and tight schedule, and that schedule doesn’t allot for time sitting at two traffic lights in a row. This means that the semi-truck hauling a trailer of around two tons still wants to turn left even on an orange light. The driver going straight may not be paying attention or simply wants to beat the light as well, but they underestimate how long it takes a semi to accelerate.

Furthermore, accidents between trucks and cars at left turns are not only more common because everyone is in a hurry, but because semi-trucks are naturally larger vehicles. Drivers may have gotten used to judging the amount of time it takes for a car to turn left, but semi-trucks are around three times longer than a car and almost two times slower at turns. This means drivers that treat them as cars run the risk of catastrophic accidents.

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