Don't get squeezed to the right side of a large truck or semi - Chester Kojro Rolla Daily N

Headlines are quick hits from media outlets from Missouri and around the world. Follow the headline link for the full story. The source of this headline says:

Back in 2016, I wrote a column titled, “Don’t Get Squeezed, Ever!” Long vehicles and trailers are especially dangerous when turning. The front axle goes where steered but then the trailing axles follow to the inside of the turn. That’s why you find tire scuff marks on so many curbs and traffic islands. It is why tractor-trailers often have signs, “WARNING! Vehicle Makes Wide Turns!” At a right turn, the driver usually first swings out to the left to get extra clearance because the rear axle then cuts to the inside. If caught alongside a long right-turning vehicle, even if on a sidewalk, you can be struck by the overhanging side of the vehicle and knocked down. The rear wheels, trailing to the right, can then roll right over you.

“Getting squeezed” occurs not only at turns but also during simple lane changes and even on a gently winding road. The truck’s rear end swings to the inside so always, “Stay Away!”

MoBikeFed comment: Back in 2006, after two Missouri cyclists were killed while trying to pass semi trucks that appeared to be changing to the left lane just be before an intersection, we put out one of our most often-viewed safety information sheets:

Take a look at the full link and the graphic that shows clearly how the situation works.

The trucks were, in fact, not changing to the left lane, but rather **swinging to the left in preparation for a right turn**.

Here is a summary of the situation from that article--something that every bicyclists needs to know and understand:

How to avoid collisions with right turning trucks

* Be aware that trucks swing to the left to prepare for a right turn.

* Truck Blind Spot on turn--click for full-sized image

* Be aware that the preparation for a right turn may take the truck partly or completely in to the left lane.

* Be aware that the truck may appear to be executing a left turn when it is in fact preparing for a right turn

* Don't enter the BLIND SPOT spot to the right side of the truck.

* Stay behind the truck and give it room.

When a large vehicle makes a turn at a street corner, the long distance between front and rear wheels means that the rear wheels will "off-track" and run closer to the curb than the front of the truck does.

Because of this, trucks will swing left in preparation for a right turn.

When the truck swings left you might be tempted to enter BLIND SPOT to the right side of the truck. Don't! This is very dangerous.

If the truck is stopped at an intersection, the driver may have started to swing left in preparation for a right turn. The truck may be partly or even completely in the left lane--but planning to turn right.

Bicyclists: NEVER filter up alongside stopped trucks at intersections.

And don't be fooled by trucks moving to the left--they may be making a left turn OR preparing for a right turn.