u-turn or not to turn

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

  1. pro1driver

    pro1driver Heavy Load Member

    Mar 30, 2006
    North East, USA
    yeah, well "4 lane road" could have been a highway as well......its sometimes hard to dechypher a rookies description.

    but, since you probably mean like a 4 lane road saying going through a town, with shopping malls on both sides, and the speed limits are (say) 35-45 mph's, then at a traffic light for left turns, i have seen countless truckers make a u-turn there. and i have never seen any police pull them over either. just don't take down the trafffic signals. but, major cities like Boston, L.A., Miami, Chicago, i'd think about not doing this practice.
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  3. stylicho

    stylicho Light Load Member

    Jan 20, 2007
    Whats funny is that I find it easier sometimes to make u-turns in big cities like LA then in some small towns. Of course LA is pretty spacey though compared to some cities in the northeast.
  4. pro1driver

    pro1driver Heavy Load Member

    Mar 30, 2006
    North East, USA
    true, but the coppers don't like certain things that make them have to leave their A/C cold cars.............

    do as you think you can get away with, but remember, you're the one getting into trouble if a cop is in a bad mood that day.
  5. DanJ

    DanJ Light Load Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    I would never do a U-turn in the median strip of a divided highway. Unless, and only under this circumstance, a cop was directing traffic to do so as a result of an accident ahead that had the highway closed off. But I've never seen a case where the police would actually direct traffic to a median cross-over anyway. They'll block the highway at the previous exit, and the people in between are stuck until the highway is re-opened. And there is only about 15 miles of open median now in an almost 300 mile stretch of highway from where I am to well east of Toronto, the rest has a wall, so you can't do it there anyway.

    On a non-freeway type highway, I would either look for a parking lot, or go around and double back, as much of a pain as that may be.
    James j Thanks this.
  6. Brickman

    Brickman Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Sep 17, 2006

    Some of our non interstate 4 lane roads down here actually have designated cross overs for side road access. Nothing wrong with using one of those, some even have turn lanes that gets a guy out of the traffic lanes. All depends on the amount of traffic.
    Canadianhauler21 Thanks this.
  7. Burky

    Burky Road Train Member

    Once in a while, you may find yourself in a spot where you need to make a U turn, but it should be pretty rare. Your best option is always going to be to go further down the road and find a place to make the turn around, or take the next couple of right turns until you get back to where you belong. There are a few places where you can find yourself in abind and have to turn, but it shouldn't happen very often. After dark, it is an even more dangerous thing to do, because regardless of how your trailer and truck are lit up, a driver coming up on you is not going to be able to tell how fast you are moving or what angle you are at.

    Remember the tale a few months ago about the Oklahoma State Trooper killed in a crash after pulling through the median on the intestate and getting hit by a big truck? His was a U turn related accident.

    Worst case basis, if you do find yourself in a bad location and there is no way to get out of it but a U turn, don;t be afraid to make a phone call to the local police. They will come out and provide blocking for you and give their blessing to the maneuver. They would much rather do that than respond to the accident that happened due to an illegal turn, and most cops are smart enohg to realize that drivers can make mistakes or misread directions and have things go wrong. They just are unhappy when the maneuver causes them big problems.

    In cities, you will find trucks that took a wrong turn and got on the wrong street for some reason. If they call the police, the police always come out and block traffic so the truck can back out. And I have never heard of a ticket being issued for those reasons. My 02.
    davetiow Thanks this.
  8. Cerberus101

    Cerberus101 Heavy Load Member

    Oct 25, 2006
    i have been known to make a few here and there. they are legal unless there is a sign saying no. but if you do decide to do it you better make sure you can or your just asking for trouble.
  9. Driven2drive

    Driven2drive Light Load Member

    Jan 9, 2007
    Ogden, Utah
    All well and good, BUT, as we all know, the car drivers seldom pay attention to anything but their cell phones and when something happens, it's the truck driver that gets blamed and the carrier hangs him or her out to dry and twist in the wind.
  10. jamwadmag

    jamwadmag Road Train Member

    Feb 28, 2006
    Desert Southwest
    Dont do u-turns if you cant do em!! Very simple---I've done in intersections (OK AZ unless otherwise specified!) but made sure all saw me and knew what I was doing!!
  11. pearldiver

    pearldiver Bobtail Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    The number one reason to never make a u-turn is speed, a car moving at
    highway speeds cannot slowdown fast enough to stop from hitting a slow turning, oversize vehicle.

    The second and possibly most overlooked reason are the drive tires, which cannot be easily seen by the driver. While a big truck can clear easily large obstacles in a straight path, when turning, once drive tires leave the pavement (soft shoulders, ditch), it is impossible to get them back on the road.

    Hence you are a sitting duck. Avoid the embarrassment, go 30 miles down the road until you find a turn around point if you have to. Most new drivers do not understand the distance required to properly turn a rig around, sometimes it is impossible, sometimes it requires several "pull ups."

    Ball park distance, you need at least "4 lanes of continuous pavement" to make a uturn - hence why they are illegal -- such conditions rarely exist.

    Attempting a uturn on a two lane will guarantee you a visit by a tow truck. If you get stuck (on the road but facing no truck zones in all directions) on some rural route and someone is willing to help you, you are better off making a left turn on a street with little or no traffic, and have someone back you (guide you backwards and direct (stop/reverse) traffic) down the road past the intersection you just turned to get you just far enough to make another left turn to get you turned around.

    Carry a spare portable cb radio for such circumstances, so you can talk to the person (preferably a police officer) DIRECTING TRAFFIC so you DO NOT HIT ANYTHING. Without a police officer in charge of traffic, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for anything that happens.

    Don't be distracted in unfamiliar areas, no radio, no phone, watch for no truck signs.
    davetiow Thanks this.
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