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The Reason Why Left Turns are Very Dangerous


September 03, 2019

A lot of people feel anxious about making a left turn before the traffic light changes to red.  It usually appears that traffic zips by through an intersection, sometimes ignoring fact that you have your turn signal on.  When the light turns from green to yellow, if it is safe to do so, you may also be able to turn left.  Exercise extreme caution in these circumstances.  There is the risk of a driver going straight and hitting the side of your vehicle at a high rate of speed, causing a violent collision.

These types of accidents are sometimes referred to T-bone crashes because the cars or trucks generally hit each other in a way that resembles the letter “T” and typically occur at intersections when a driver is attempting to turn left, especially during a yellow light.  These accidents are serious and can cause injuries and even death. With billions of dollars recovered for our clients,* Our Attorneys Know What it Takes to Win!™ If you or a family member has been injured in a left turn collision or other auto accident, get the help you need by contacting us Nationwide 24/7 for a Free Consultation by calling us at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), dialing #WIN (#946) from your mobile phone (works with most cell providers), by submitting a Free Case Evaluation Form or by utilizing our 24-hour live chat option at Montlick.com.**

According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, thirty-six percent (36%) of all accidents occur at intersections. Over four-hundred and eighty-thousand (480,000) of these accidents involve drivers who are attempting to turn left.  The most common causes of left turn accidents are as follows:

  • Poor visibility when turning
  • Inadequate surveillance (driving into another vehicle’s blind spots)
  • Misjudgment of the oncoming vehicle’s speed
  • A miscalculation of the distance or gap that goes across an intersection
  • Failure to yield to the right of way 
  • Failure to use a turn signal while attempting to proceed

In the majority of cases, drivers who are going left do not have the right of way, which means that they need to wait for oncoming cars to pass them before proceeding.  It is much safer to wait for the green arrow to appear on the traffic signal before turning left.  However, not all traffic signals have a green arrow and even if they do, an accident can still occur because of someone else’s negligence when you turn on a green arrow.  When a left turn accident occurs, it is typically presumed by law that the left turn driver acted negligently (when there is no green arrow present), and likely caused the accident.  The left turn driver however, can introduce evidence (whether through eyewitness accounts, surveillance cameras or other evidence) that can cause the other party to be liable for the accident, such as:

  • The other driver increased his or her speed after the light turned yellow or red or went through a red light
  • An unexpected event, such as a pedestrian illegally crossing the roadway, required the left turn driver to stop mid-turn, resulting in an accident.
  • The other driver was impaired by drugs and/or alcohol or was driving while distracted.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 35 Years Of Legal Experience To Work For Your Case!

Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law has been representing injured parties in ALL types of cases involving personal injuries for over 35 years. If you or a member of your family has experienced physical harm because of the negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct of another party, get the help you need by contacting us Nationwide 24/7 for a Free Consultation by calling us at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), dialing #WIN (#946) from your mobile phone (works with most cell providers), by submitting a Free Case Evaluation Form or by utilizing our 24-hour live chat option at Montlick.com.

No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour live chat.

Source:https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812681

*Dollars recovered are cumulative and not indicative of individual case results. Each case is unique.  Results depend on the facts and applicable law.

**Legal services are provided by Montlick & Associates, P.C. and local associated law firms at no additional cost to you depending on the jurisdiction and any specialized experience required. For more information, click here.


Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.