Truck Signage
September 30, 2004 5:09 AM   Subscribe

Why do trucks have signs on them that say "wide right turns"? Don't they make wide left turns too?
posted by adampsyche to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total)
I think when they make a 'wide right turn,' they can first move away (left) from the curb, and then make a right, in order to get around the corner. This may open up for a short time some space in the right hand lane. So you should be careful of passing big trucks on the right at intersections, as they may make an unanticipated right hand turn across your lane and cut you off. You won't get trapped like this when they make 'wide left turns.'
posted by carter at 5:18 AM on September 30, 2004

When making left turns, trucks have the additional room of the oncoming (left) lane(s). Think about driving your own car. How many times have you hit a curb making a left turn vs. making a right turn? I guess trucks in the UK make wide left turns.
posted by Frank Grimes at 5:42 AM on September 30, 2004

B often isn't possible in big trucks.
You're not straying into oncoming traffic when you turn left.
posted by planetkyoto at 5:49 AM on September 30, 2004

Response by poster: Oh, ok. Got it.
posted by adampsyche at 6:34 AM on September 30, 2004

Bonus points, planetkyoto. Bigtime.
posted by ulotrichous at 6:40 AM on September 30, 2004

Also, trucks may make the right turn shown by path C [that IS a glorious map] from the left hand lane. This means if you're in the right hand lane and scooting ahead at the turn, you may get pinched as the truck has to cut you off to complete the turn.
posted by jessamyn at 7:21 AM on September 30, 2004

I am interested in the further question trucks (er, lorries, I guess) have "wide left turn" signs on them? I suppose maybe the lack of giant trucks there makes it less of an occurrence, but you'd still think it'd be an issue occasionally.
posted by davebug at 7:28 AM on September 30, 2004

Uh..."In the UK" that should read. Sorry, it's a bit early still.
posted by davebug at 7:31 AM on September 30, 2004

My dad always called these "Gee-Haw" turns. When driving a team of oxen Gee is the call for left, Haw is the call for right. To execute this turn you have to Gee, then Haw. (It's usually written Gee-Haw, but the g makes a J sound)
posted by putzface_dickman at 11:00 AM on September 30, 2004

What about in cities with lots of one way streets? Couldn't a truck need to make a (potentially dangerous) wide left hand turn?
posted by rorycberger at 11:10 AM on September 30, 2004

A lot of those one way streets are just one lane. A transport truck can't get a car squozed when there's just one lane.

As far as multi-lane one-way streets go, there's not enough of them with intersections for tuckers to care about the signs, I assume. A lot of trucks even forgo the "wide right turn" signs, so it isn't as if it's required. It's just a courtesy to remind idiots in cars that they'll be squished.
posted by shepd at 11:41 AM on September 30, 2004

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