The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that 36 percent of all auto accidents occur in or around intersections. Given the perpendicular traffic and many hazards involved, this is no surprise. What may be most surprising to you is that making left turns tends to be quite dangerous, and can lead to catastrophic injuries and fatalities.
The attorneys at our Daytona Beach, FL law firm want to consider the hazards of left turn accidents, particularly when left turns are made illegally. We’ll also note how negligent parties can be held legally liable.
Are Left Turns Really That Dangerous?
People take left turns for granted, but when they are made, a driver is at risk of multiple potential collisions. In addition to traffic in perpendicular lanes, people making left turns also have to worry about traffic driving straight traveling in the opposite direction. In unguarded left turns, the risk of collisions is high. There is also the risk of hitting pedestrians and bicyclists to keep in mind.
As you can imagine, the dangers are increased when a person attempts to make an illegal left turn.
Turning Left When No Turn Is Permitted
If you make a left turn when a left turn is prohibited, you may put yourself at risk of multiple collisions. The no left turn sign may indicate a risk of collision due to volume of traffic, or it may even indicate that a left turn would cause you to wind up traveling the wrong way on a one-way street. These signs are in place for practical reasons.
Turning Left from a Right Lane
If you try to turn left from an undesignated lane, you can cause serious traffic congestion for motorists around you and behind you. You can also cause a side impact collision as you overtake another vehicle making a legal left turn. Illegal left turns might also occur when a reckless driver is attempting to pull into a driveway that they missed, oblivious to adjacent/approaching motorists.
Turning Without a Turn Signal
Blinkers are essential for safe driving and letting our intentions be known to others. If you make a left turn without a signal, you could be catching other vehicles around you off guard, increasing the risk of a collision.
Failure to Yield the Right of Way
The right of way helps ensure proper flow of traffic and prevents collisions from occurring. When drivers who are turning left do not yield the right of way, that puts others at risk. This is particularly true of people making unguarded left turns who disregard the flow of traffic traveling toward them. Remember that they have the right of way, and those making left turns must wait.
Dangers to Pedestrians and Bicyclists
Finally, it’s important to note the potential dangers to pedestrians and bicyclists when someone is making an illegal left turn. Simply put, pedestrians and bicyclists do not expect a vehicle coming their way in such situations, which puts them in great danger. Pedestrians and bicyclists are three times more likely to be struck by a vehicle turning left than a vehicle turning right.
Contact Our Team of Lawyers
For more information about your legal rights and options following an auto collision, be sure to contact the injury accident lawyers of Chanfrau & Chanfrau. We will fight diligently for you and your legal rights every step of the way.