A truck driver caused a St. Charles County Missouri truck accident during an attempted U-turn on eastbound Missouri Route 370 at Elm Point Industrial Drive. The truck accident occurred after sunset on November 23, 2011 at 6:27pm.
Commercial motor vehicle driver Daniel W. Fuller attempted to make a U-turn in a 2012 Kenworth. The front of the Kenworth crashed into the rear of a 2003 Buick Century driven by Milburn Z. Gambill of Corning, Arkansas. St. Charles County ambulance transported Gambill to St. Joseph Hospital East for medical treatment.
U-turns are dangerous maneuvers, especially for commercial motor vehicles. U-turns require vehicles to cross lanes intended for traffic in opposite directions. U-turns tend to take longer to complete than typical left or right turns, but some drivers fail to take the longer timeframe into account. Drivers may feel rushed to complete a U-turn and drive too fast for the maneuver. The maneuver is even riskier for commercial motor vehicles. Commercial motor vehicles like tractor trailers and delivery trucks have a larger turning radius than passenger vehicles. Attempting a U-turn in a commercial motor vehicle is irresponsible.
Attempting a U-turn in a commercial motor vehicle is more than irresponsible, it is likely illegal. Missouri statute 304.341 governs turns at traffic intersections in Missouri. The statute bans U-turns at any intersection with a traffic light. Specifically, the statute says “It shall be unlawful for the driver of any vehicle to turn such vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction at any intersection controlled by a traffic signal.” U-turns are also banned at all other sections of Missouri’s roadways, “unless the movement can be made in safety and without interfering with other traffic.” U-turns are banned wherever vehicles cannot be easily seen, including curvy roads and hill crests.
Missouri statue 304.341 shows a clear intent of Missouri’s legislature to prohibit the majority U-turns. Under Missouri law, U-turns are generally prohibited and only allowed under rare circumstances. If a truck driver attempts a U-turn and causes a Missouri truck accident, the U-turn attempt is evidence that the truck driver breached a duty owed to the accident victim. Truck drivers have a duty to obey traffic regulations and a generally duty to operate their commercial motor vehicles prudently. When a truck driver violates a traffic regulation and the violation causes injury, the truck driver owes compensation to the accident victims.