Making a left turn is one of the riskiest maneuvers a driver can make. When drivers and passengers decide to turn at the incorrect time, it can have devastating results. Suppose you’ve been hurt in a car accident. In that case, it’s in your best interest to consult with a personal injury lawyer specializing in personal injury cases so you know your rights and alternatives.
It’s common for the at-fault driver to be the one who initiated the incident by making a left turn. Because most states have laws stating that drivers performing left-hand turns must give way to oncoming traffic, this is the case. Oncoming traffic has the right of way if there are no relevant stop lights or traffic signals. Unfortunately, there are cases where the driver that turned left and caused an accident is not held responsible.
This article discusses the risks associated with making a left turn, the parties at fault when a collision occurs while making a left turn, and the steps to take following a collision involving a left-turning vehicle.
Cases Where The Left-Turning Driver Was Not At Fault
The driver that made the left turn may not be at blame for the collision in certain circumstances. These occurrences are unusual but not impossible. The following are some of the most prevalent defenses to the theory that the driver making the left turn was at fault in an accident.
Ignoring A Stop Or Traffic Light
When an oncoming vehicle causes a collision with a left-turning motorist because the oncoming driver ignored a stop sign or red light, the left-turning driver is usually not at fault for the accident. So, if you’re making a left turn at a signal and an incoming car hits you, you might not be held liable even though you assumed the other driver would stop for the light.
Another scenario in which a vehicle performing a left turn could not be at fault is if oncoming traffic is too fast in the area. A driver could not be held responsible for an accident if the other driver was going well over the posted speed at the time of impact. However, establishing the speed of the oncoming vehicle can be tricky in the event of a collision.
The left-turning motorist may also be found not at fault in any incident where they reasonably judged that it was safe to make the turn but was later involved in an accident caused by another driver’s disregard for traffic laws or reckless behavior. As a bonus, the driver performing the left turn may not be held accountable if the other driver was driving recklessly, unlawfully, or under the influence.
Events That Were Not Anticipated
If something unexpected happens while the wing driver is making the turn, the other driver may be held responsible for the accident. If an animal suddenly jumped onto the road, forcing the motorist to make the turn to immediately stop or slow down, the driver who was struck by the incoming car because they didn’t brake could be held responsible for the crash.
Guidelines For Making A Legal Left Turn
To avoid accidents and other dangers, you must know how to perform a left turn safely.
How to make a left turn safely and smoothly, including:
- Just before you arrive at the spot where you’ll make the left turn, turn on your signal.
- Please bring your car to a halt beyond the designated area
- Look left, then right, then left again at a dead stop.
- Turn only if you can see both ways and know that there is nothing in either direction that could cause an accident.
- Do not attempt to turn into oncoming traffic by cutting the corner.
Finding out who is at fault is the first order of business if you were the vehicle making the left turn and were involved in a collision. There isn’t much that can do if you are at blame, and it is also clear to the other motorists and the authorities who arrive on the scene. However, if you weren’t the driver making the left turn and you don’t think you’re to blame for the accident, you should talk to injuries sustained or automobile accident experts as soon as possible. A qualified lawyer can assist you in proving the case and, hopefully, have not found fault in a situation where you feel you could otherwise be at fault.