Tips for Commercial Truck Drivers: Making Safe Right Turns


Commercial trucks are difficult to maneuver and stop. If a large truck and automobile collide, the accident could be catastrophic. Instances of accidents occurring include when truckers are making a right turn. Other vehicles, for example, attempt to squeeze along the right side of a truck to pass or make a right turn while a big rig is making the turn. In addition, when there are tight turns (often with obstacles like poles in the way), a commercial truck driver may swing outside the lane – either into the left lane or slightly over the double yellow lines into oncoming traffic – to orchestrate the turn. The swinging turn error may result in a rollover crash when it collides with an oncoming vehicle or a side-swipe of a passenger vehicle caught in the blind spot while attempting to pass.

The safety rules of commercial motor vehicles are clearly outlined, including when making right turns. Here are several driving trips to serve as a reminder for all truckers when making right turns:

  • Know well in advance when you’ll be making a right turn.
  • Give yourself at least 100 feet before the intersection to:
    • Start with the truck and trailer in the right line
    • Activate the right turn signal early to alert other drivers of your intention; don’t cancel the signal until you have completed the turn
    • Check your mirror on the left side for traffic
    • Proceed slowly
  • As you approach the intersection, keep the trailer in the right lane to block the road from cars trying to pass you on the right side as you pull slightly to the left to begin the right turn.
  • Do not swing wide left and cross over dividers. If you have to cross over into the oncoming lane you’re turning into, wait for any vehicles in that lane to pass by.
  • Never back up to complete a turn.

Watch your trailer every time you’re making a turn. The most common mistake new drivers make is forgetting to watch their trailer. If you’re unaware you hit something, like a stop sign, for example, you may be cited by the police for distracted driving and property damage.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is an insurance brokerage specializing in commercial truck insurance. We know this stuff and want to make sure you do too. Our clients appreciate our dedication to finding competitive rates and offering unparalleled service beyond excellent insurance options. They also value how our state-of-the-art automation provides lightning-fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more.