Professional drivers make hundreds of safe right turns every month however, right turn accidents still occur when drivers do not follow the proper turning procedures. Common right turn collisions include:
• Sideswiping a vehicle when swinging wide to negotiate a tight turn.
• Head-on collisions with opposing traffic when swinging wide.
• Collisions with parked cars, fixed objects, or pedestrians when cutting corners too tightly.
• Colliding with a car trying to sneak by on the right when swinging wide.
The best practices for making safe right turns are:
• Move into the far right lane in advance of your turn.
• Engage your right turn signal at least 200 feet before the turn, and check traffic at the intersection and your mirrors. Check traffic coming up on the left side of you from behind, then bear to the left side of the lane.
• Check behind you again. Check your right-hand mirror one last time to make sure no one is sneaking around you and going to end up with a trailer parked on their hood. Enter into the turn, aiming the front of your truck at the oncoming lane if it is a two-lane road, or at the middle lane if it is three-lanes.
• Slow down to the appropriate speed and utilize the proper gear. Stop if traffic controls require you to.
• Scan for and yield to pedestrians and bicyclists.
• Yield to traffic. If you cannot make the turn without others slowing down or changing lanes, wait for a larger opening. Remember, it takes 15 seconds or longer to move through an intersection.
• Make your turn without crossing the center line of the street you are leaving and, if possible, without moving into the opposing traffic of the road you are entering.
• If you must leave your lane to negotiate the turn, it is generally better to stay in the lane you are coming from, swinging wide into the lane you are turning into. Do not turn into the lane until opposing traffic has passed.
• If you get “caught” while swinging into the lane you are turning into, yield and let opposing traffic go around you. Backing during a turn is dangerous as it is difficult to see vehicles behind you who are expecting you to go forward, not backwards.
• During the turn you should keep monitoring your mirrors, looking for vehicles trying to pass on either side. Professional drivers should use caution, following proper procedure to ensure turns are made safely.