u-turn or not to turn

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by stylicho, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. stylicho

    stylicho Light Load Member

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    Well I should say Im not exactly a new driver. Ive been driving for about a year and a half. But I still have problems deciding on what to do if Ive taken the wrong path. My first instinct is to make a u-turn. Is this even legal. And of course I can only attempt this on a 4 lane road. Many times I cant do it by entering the turning lane but by staying in the left lane and trying it. What do you people do when youve gone down the wrong road?
     
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  3. MACK E-6

    MACK E-6 Moderator Staff Member

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    U-turns are legal if done properly, although you might have a problem sooner or later for doing it from the left lane. Best to find a larger opening in the median and do it there.
     
  4. notarps4me

    notarps4me Road Train Member

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    When I had a local gig I was always seeing a local trucking school making flips at a very busy intersection of a double lane highway. There was a little truckstop there named Fristoes. One day I had to back it down, traffic was moving slow. When I rolled up on scene one of these training trucks had a car up on it's side on the driver door in front of the trailer wheels. Looks as if they had made a U turn in front of a car. I would imagine that the instuctor does not work there anymore.:shock:
     
  5. pro1driver

    pro1driver Heavy Load Member

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    i would highly advise AGAINST making u-turns on any road, especially highway/bi-highway, secondary state routes and such. i would advise you to find another exit, or a shopping mall, or some sort of land space that does not require you to make u-turns.

    case in point. about 3 years ago (now, i think) a Smith Transport driver (you know, those black rigs/trailers with the gold lettering?) had made an incredible mistake here in my home state. it was "around" 5 AM and he missed his exit. so instead of going to the NEXT exit, he decides to make his u-turn by using the median and going back to other way.

    well, low and behold, he's in the left lane, of a four lane southbound highway, making his illegal u-turn and a 4 wheeler was coming up fast behind him. the 4 wheeler slammed into the rear of the trailer, killing him instantly............

    forget about the speed of the 4 wheeler, forget about why the 4 wheeler was in the left lane, forget about ANY reason why that 4 wheeler was there.................

    why was the trucker making an illegal u-turn...........was the REAL QUESTION...............

    the driver got hauled away, via the state police DOT enforcement officer.

    the tractor-trailer rig got hauled away via the tow truck

    the 4 wheeler went to the morge via the M.E.'s van.

    the trucking company, Smith Transport....................

    well, let's just say..................they are wishing they never hired that driver..............


    so, you really wanna do a u-turn..................??



    this is the company i am refering to.
    http://www.smithtransport.com/
     
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  6. earthbrown

    earthbrown Medium Load Member

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    That is sad, BUT reguardless of what the driver was doing, the 4wheeler failed to pay attention to what was going on. Truck is pretty big, and assuming it was 5am the rig was most likely lit up. Trucker should not have been doing what he was doing, BUT had the car driver been paying attention he would be alive...



    K
     
  7. Aligator

    Aligator Light Load Member

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    On occasion I will make a U Turn. Each situation is different.

    It takes 4 lanes to turn a rig. 4!. And the hangover from your tail may even exceed that a little. So be careful.

    But 1st I look for a place to make a D Turn. When you turn, your rig makes the letter D. Backwards D if you turn left, forward D for turning right.

    Look for a parking lot of some sort on the left side of the road that you can turn into and then follow through right back out the other direction. Still gotta be 4 lanes big, though.

    Making a legal U turn at a stop light is a good choice, I think. You know to be careful, and I put all the flashers on.
     
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  8. stylicho

    stylicho Light Load Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I will now try to avoid making a u-turn even more than before :D. And about it being the 4 wheelers fault that he hit that semi. Well Ive read up on this sort of thing lately and it appears that the trailer has an illusionary effect when youre coming the opposite way, especially if you have car lights behind you. Of course youre to expect the unexpected but thats a little easier said then done especially while minding your business.
     
  9. pro1driver

    pro1driver Heavy Load Member

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    true (about the sadness), however, it was a "typical" tractor-trailer rig, out fitted the the usual amount of lights. again, forget about the 4 wheeler's driving habits and such, the trucker got nailed big time for his actions. the trucking company is going to lose any court battle on this. u-turns are illegal on highways, as those "turn-arounds" or "cut throughs" are marked "for emergency vehicle use only", and a trucker doesn't qualify as an "emergency vehicle useage" person.

    if i can dig up any more info from that acident, i'll post it here, but it was about 3 years ago, so the archives at the local paper would require me to pay a fee.
     
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  10. stylicho

    stylicho Light Load Member

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    Oh, youre talking about an interstate or highway. I definately wouldnt try to make a u-turn there. For one thing you might get stuck on the dirt. I was mainly referring to stop and go traffic with lights and such.
     
  11. Brickman

    Brickman Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    There is a Maverick (I think) driver down in TX in jail for a U turn. Another truck hit him, one guy went to jail and one guy is taking that loooooooooong dirt nap.

    I've done them, but am very careful about them!!!!!!!!

    It does take a full 4 lanes to U.

    My brother is (I HOPE!!!!!) a lot more careful now about turns after missing his turn. The week before Christmas 2006 he had his truck totaled and darn near got killed by a careless turn after missing his turn. His wife and kids are glad to still have him around and so is the rest of the family. I can blame him for my start in trucking, good or bad, but all that aside he is my bro and my friend! It still shakes me up thinking of how close we all got to loosing him just before Christmas.

    Be very careful with your turns. I've drove 10 miles one way to find a safe turn around.
     
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