Illegal Left Turn Car Accidents: Dangers to Consider
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 36 percent of all accidents occur in or around intersections. Given the flow of traffic and sheer number of intersections out there, that makes sense. As it turns out, left turns are among the most dangerous maneuvers out there, resulting in countless car accidents in Salt Lake City, UT every year. The dangers are heightened when left turns are made illegally.
Our legal team would like to consider the hazards of illegal left turns and why they need to be taken so seriously. We will be here for you in your time of legal need, offering guidance through the various stages of auto accident litigation.
Turning Left When No Turn Is Permitted
Whenever a sign states that no left turn is allowed, this is typically done for everyone’s safety. There could be too many lanes of traffic to cross unguarded for a left turn to be safe. Additionally, the sign may be there to prevent people from turning into a one-way street.
Turning Left from a Right Lane
Left turns should only be made from designated lanes. If you make a left turn from a right lane or undesignated lane, you increase the risk of side collisions and other sorts of impacts with vehicles traveling adjacent or behind your own.
Turning Without the Turn Signal
Turn signals are essential for letting others know our intentions while driving. If you fail to use your turn signal when turning left, there is a chance you could cause an accident to occur. This is especially important in lanes where traffic can turn left or proceed forward.
Failure to Yield the Right of Way
The right of way allows motorists to proceed safely when making turns or merging. When making unguarded left turns, it’s important to yield the right of way to any oncoming traffic in the lanes your vehicle crosses. Failure to yield the right of way increases the risk of collision.
Risk of Broadside and Head-On Collisions
When making illegal left turns, you increase the risk of broadside (T-bone) collisions and head-on/front-end crashes. These are two of the deadliest kinds of car accidents.
Broadside accidents can occur when a vehicle making an illegal left turn passes oncoming traffic perpendicularly; head-on strikes may happen when a vehicle travels into oncoming traffic before proceeding with a left turn, or strikes traffic on a one-way street after completing an illegal left turn.
Dangers to Pedestrians and Bicyclists
The hazards to other motorists are high when illegal left turns are made, and so are the dangers to pedestrians and bicyclists. Statistically speaking, it is three times more likely for a bicyclist or pedestrian to be struck by someone turning left than it is for them to be struck by a motorist turning right. These hazards are heightened when the person turning left is doing so illegally.
Contact Lynn C. Harris
For more information about your legal rights and options following an auto collision, be sure to contact an experienced auto accident lawyer. We are here to help you in your time of legal need, and will fight diligently for your legal rights.