Driving safely around tractor-trailers, commercial trucks and 18-wheelers is paramount to motorist safety. The risk of injuries is much higher for occupants of smaller vehicles involved in truck accidents than for occupants of trucks.
Often, motorists make simple mistakes they don’t realize are devastating to their life and safety. Speeding, tailgating and lingering in a truck’s blind spot — all of these behaviors place the motorist at higher risk of a catastrophic accident. One often-overlooked – and in some cases deadly – maneuver that some motorists make around trucks is called squeeze play.
What is squeeze play?
Because of a truck’s size and length, the driver is required to swing to the left before he or she makes a right turn. If a motorist traveling behind the truck tries to squeeze his or her car in the gap between the truck and the curb, the motorist is at risk of an accident. The truck driver may not realize that there is a car right next to the truck, which is in danger of literally being squeezed between the truck and the curb. This is called squeeze play.
This situation can cause devastating accidents and injuries. The enormous size of the truck can crush the smaller passenger vehicle, greatly increasing the risk of serious injuries. Accident victims might sustain broken bones, internal injuries, head injuries and more.
How to Prevent Squeeze Play Accidents
Quite simply, avoid trying to squeeze past a truck when it’s swinging left in preparation for a right turn. If you believe the truck is changing lanes, wait for it to change lanes completely and exit its current lane before you attempt to pass it. This will allow you to avoid the precarious situation of being caught between a large truck and a curb, wall or other structure that can cause a squeeze play accident.
Also, pay attention to the truck’s turn signals. Truckers should signal when making a right turn, as well as when changing lanes. Failure to do so might constitute negligence on the truck driver’s part. But even when the truck uses signals, wait for the truck to complete its maneuver before passing.
Negligent Truck Drivers Can Be Liable for Accidents
If the truck driver was somehow negligent – such as using a left-turn signal instead of a right-turn signal or turning right from a left lane – then you might be able to file a claim for damages if you were involved in a squeeze play accident.
Filing an injury claim after a truck accident can be different from filing a car accident claim. For one thing, a trucking accident claim is not filed only against a truck driver, but also can name the trucking company that employs the driver, maintenance and repair companies responsible for the truck, and other parties. Make sure you speak with a lawyer about which parties might be liable for damages in the wreck.
Additionally, investigations to pursue a trucking accident claim might be more extensive than those required for a car accident claim. Investigations may include a forensic reconstruction of the accident, accident scene analysis, and a review of the driver’s logbooks and other documents from the truck company. You may require trucking safety experts and other witnesses to testify to the negligence of driver. Your lawyer can send a spoliation letter to the motor carrier company to preserve evidence.
Speak to attorney David Bressman about filing a claim to recover compensation for your injuries after a truck accident in Columbus. Call 877-538-1116 or schedule an appointment by filling out the online evaluation form on the side of the page. Initial consultations are free.