Common Causes of Left-Turn Accidents

April 20, 2020

When driving, there are certain maneuvers that are naturally riskier than others. One such maneuver that tends to be risky is turning left at an intersection.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 36 percent of all auto accidents occur at intersections and more than 480,000 of them involve drivers who are turning left. In fact, in over 22% percent of all crashes, the critical event was turning left. Studies by the Department of Transportation have shown that vehicles that are turning left are the most likely to result in fatal crashes within intersections.

Common Causes of Left-Turn Accidents

Some of the most common causes of left-turn accidents include:

  • Misjudgment of another driver’s speed
  • Miscalculating the length of the intersection
  • Obstructed views
  • Failure to yield to the right-of-way
  • Failure to signal
  • Inadequate surveillance
  • Aggressive driving

Generally speaking, it is presumed that drivers who are turning left do not have the right-of-way and are therefore negligent when they are involved in an accident. However, although the left-turning driver has the burden of proving his or her innocence, they can present evidence to demonstrate otherwise. Such evidence may include:

  • The other driver involved was operating their vehicle illegally (e.g. driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol)
  • The other driver continued on through a red light or increased his or her speed after the light had already turned yellow
  • An unexpected occurrence required that the driver stop turning, resulting in the crash

The above can be proven using eyewitnesses, traffic cameras, and more.

Tips for Minimizing Left-Turn Collisions

In order to avoid a left-turn collision, there are certain things that you should do to make the situation safer. These include:

  • Always using your turn signal prior to turning
  • Ensuring that your view is not obstructed
  • Using extra caution if your obstructed view cannot be fixed
  • Accurately judging the distance across the intersection and ensuring you have plenty of time before any oncoming cars are approaching
  • Allowing drivers going straight through the intersection to go first (they do have the right-of-way)
  • Do not make a left turn where illegal/forbidden
  • Gauging the speed of other drivers around you
  • Observing the posted speed limit

Although you cannot always avoid all collisions from left-turns, employing best practices and safe driving habits can help to lower the risk.

The Attorneys at Graves McLain Can Help

If you have been injured in a car accident, you should not have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. The attorneys at Graves McLain have substantial experience in representing individuals in auto vehicle accidents.

There is no charge for Graves McLain to review your case. If we represent you, we will handle your case on a contingency fee basis (calculated as a percentage of the recovery we obtain). Call an experienced personal injury attorney at Graves McLain at 918-359-6600 today. Trust our team. We’re here to help.

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