Why Are Left Turns So Dangerous?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), around 40% of accidents in the United States are intersection-related. Many of those crashes involve one motorist making a left turn, and those incidents tend to be some of the most severe. These facts beg the question: why are left turns so dangerous?
Six Reasons Left Turns Can Be Hazardous
Drivers must be careful in making any turn, especially at intersections or onto high-traffic roads. However, left turns are particularly dangerous for the following reasons.
1. Higher Acceleration
When a driver turns left, they have a higher tendency to accelerate than during other turns. A left turn requires more time and space to make, which might encourage a driver to go through the turn faster. This sudden increase in speed can cause reckless or aggressive driving that increases the risk of a motor vehicle or pedestrian accident.
2. Misjudged Speed
Drivers turning left (without a protected green arrow) must pay attention to the speed of oncoming and other turning drivers. Wide intersections can also make it difficult for drivers to determine how long they have to make a left turn. A quick lapse in judgment or hesitation can cause a severe T-bone or head-on accident.
3. More Maneuvers
Left turns require more complex decisions and movements. To complete a left turn, the driver needs to cross other lanes of traffic while watching for vehicles turning right or approaching from a different direction. A left-turning driver must also watch for pedestrians crossing the street who are unaware of turning motorists.
Left turns can be especially risky for older drivers or inexperienced drivers. Turning left demands a driver uses multiple physical and cognitive abilities at one time.
4. Poor View of Obstructions
When turning left at an intersection with two lanes traveling in the opposite direction, it can be hard to see oncoming traffic. Drivers waiting in the opposing left turn can block oncoming drivers from view completely. The left-turning driver might start to turn before realizing other cars are already in the intersection.
5. Sudden Turns or Lane Changes
An opposing driver might change their mind from turning to going straight at the last minute, which can cause a T-bone accident or worse. Lane changes in the middle of an intersection can also cause unexpected crashes.
6. Speeding Through Yellow Lights
Every driver knows how frustrating it can be to miss a green light and have to wait in the intersection. However, all drivers must follow traffic rules despite the difficulty. A left-turning driver might speed through a yellow light to avoid having to stop.
Speeding through a yellow is never a good idea, especially when turning left. Oncoming traffic might enter the intersection before the turning driver finishes leaving the intersection, causing a severe accident.
How Liability Works in a Left-Turn Accident
Left turns are dangerous maneuvers that can easily lead to life-threatening or fatal crashes. If a driver is not skilled or able enough to perform a safe left turn, they shouldn’t perform it. If they choose to do so anyway and it causes an accident, the turning driver is liable for the damages.
If a left-turning driver caused your accident and injured you, you should not have to pay for the damages. You can file a personal injury claim against the driver’s insurance company to pursue compensation for damages like:
- Medical bills
- Prescription medications
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
A car accident lawyer can help you build a strong insurance claim and fight for your right to financial recovery. Contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible to make sure you are on the right track.
Call (214) 305-8277 or contact us online to get a FREE consultation and get matched with the best attorney for your needs. There is no fee unless we win for you, so the process is risk-free for you.
Proportionate Responsibility in Left-Turn Accidents
Sometimes, more than one party is at fault for a car accident. If you’re worried you might be partially at fault in your left-turn accident case, you are likely eligible for compensation.
According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 33.001:
- A claimant cannot recover damages if they are more than 50% responsible for the injury accident.
- As the claimant, if you were not over 50% at fault, you can still seek compensation for your damages.
- Your compensation would be reduced based on your percentage of fault.
An experienced lawyer can help determine your percentage of fault and your recovery options. Many accident victims are surprised to find that they hold no mistake at all in their accident. Don’t assume your responsibility without speaking to a car accident lawyer first.
Be Wary of the Insurance Company
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses that care most about saving their costs. If another driver caused your accident by making an unfortunate left turn, their insurance company will not make the claim process easy. The insurer will look for ways to reduce how much they have to pay you on your claim.
Common insurance company tactics include:
- Calling you and asking how you’re feeling, then using what you say against you
- Offering you a lowball settlement that doesn’t come close to covering your damages
- Asking you to give a recorded statement that could be used against you
- Downplaying the severity of your losses
- Discouraging you from getting help from a lawyer
Your lawyer can help protect you from getting blamed for part or all of the accident. They can also handle all communication with the insurance company so that they don’t take advantage of your vulnerable state. If the insurer tries to lowball your settlement, your lawyer will work to negotiate a fair settlement.
Get a Free Consultation with a Dallas Car Accident Lawyer Today
You should not have to pay for the costs of an accident that was not your fault. We can match you with the best car accident lawyer to help you with your case. To get a FREE, no-risk consultation and learn more, call (214) 305-8277 or contact us online today.