18-wheelers and other tractor trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and are typically about 60 feet long. Because of their massive size, making turns can be a difficult maneuver. Truck drivers also have to be wary of making sharp turns that could cause the trailer to rollover. In order to most safely make a right turn, truck drivers typically swing slightly to the left before turning right.
This maneuver can create the illusion to passenger cars that are trailing the truck that the truck intends to turn left. Operating under that belief, many motorists attempt to pass the 18-wheeler on the right and find themselves squeezed in between the side of the road and the trailer once the 18-wheeler begins to turn right as was intended. This type of accident is known as a squeeze play accident and it often results in severe injuries to the driver and occupants of the passenger vehicle.
Why Squeeze Play Accidents Are Dangerous
Due to the size of 18-wheelers, all accidents with smaller passenger cars can cause serious injury, but squeeze play accidents tend to be even more severe. What makes them so dangerous is that the 18-wheeler crashes into the passenger car with full force and can crush the car with the passengers still in the cab. Additionally, many tractor trailers are as high off the ground as the roof of the passenger car. This can cause the roof of the car to be crushed or sliced off in a squeeze play accident resulting in severe head injuries or fatalities.
Preventing Squeeze Play Accidents
There are several things that motorists can do to avoid being in a squeeze play accident.
- Stay out of an 18-wheeler’s blind spot on both sides of the trailer
- Stay a safe distance behind the truck – typically at least 5 full car lengths
- Only pass an 18-wheeler when there is plenty of room and never pass one on the right
- When an 18-wheeler slows down to make a turn, anticipate where it might be going. Even if it initially appears to be turning left, avoid pulling up alongside the truck in case the truck turns right
Finding Your Truck Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a squeeze play accident or any other type of accident with an 18-wheeler, you may be entitled to compensation. It is in your best interest to consult with an experienced truck accident attorney to learn about your legal option. Arnold & Itkin represents victims of truck accidents all across the country. We have won our clients over $1 billion in verdicts and settlements over the last 5 years alone. Contact our truck accident attorneys today for a free consultation.