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Are Left-Hand Turns Really Dangerous for Drivers?


Is turning left when driving going to cause an accident?

While turning left can be safe, there's a higher risk of being involved in a crash if you make a left turn against traffic. Drivers who turn left are more likely to collide with oncoming motorists; in fact, federal data has shown that crashes involving crossing paths are a result of left-hand turn 53.1 percent of the time while turning right accounts for only 5.7 percent of collisions.

Should turning left be banned?

It's true that banning left-hand turns could save lives, and the statistics show that it would improve the flow of traffic and improve safety for those driving. Thirty-six percent of fatal accidents that involved a motorcyclist were caused by drivers making left-hand turns in front of a motorcyclist; with that kind of statistic, it's clear that banning these turns would be immensely helpful in making the roads safer.

On busy roads, trying to make a left-hand turn can slow and even halt traffic. A driver turning left can end up blocking lanes. Of course, in areas that aren't busy, a left-hand turn can be a sensible option.

What should you do if you've been hit by a driver turning left?

In most cases, a driver turning left will be held liable for the collision, unless you were also violating traffic laws. In that case, you may share the blame for the accident. Your attorney can help you find out more about your case, so you know what to expect and the manner in which to approach your claim with the other party's insurance company.

Source: The Washington Post, "The case for almost never turning left while driving," Matt McFarland, accessed April 27, 2016

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