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The reason left turns are so dangerous

On Behalf of | Nov 25, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Do you feel a bit anxious whenever you have to make a left-hand turn? Do you ever find yourself thinking about driving around the block so that you can make right-hand turns instead?

You’re certainly not alone. In fact, there are some delivery companies that mandate that their drivers have to do this. They simply recognize that left turns are so incredibly dangerous that the odds of an accident are lower if these turns are avoided entirely. But what is it about turning left that creates this high level of risk?

Crossing oncoming traffic lanes

First and foremost, every left turn made on a two-way street means that the vehicle has to cross the oncoming traffic lanes. In an ideal scenario, those lanes will be empty of all vehicles and the turn will be made safely. But it will always be inherently more dangerous to drive across these lanes than to turn right. 

It requires making a judgment call

The second part of the equation is that a driver who is turning left has to look at the traffic, consider the road conditions and make a judgment call about whether it’s the appropriate time to turn. There is no structure in place and no control system, unless it’s at a light with a green arrow, so the decision is entirely up to the driver.

All it takes is a very small mistake for that decision to be the wrong one. A driver may not see a motorcycle, for instance, because they’re too focused on larger vehicles. Or they may see a vehicle and simply misjudge how fast it is moving and how fast it’s closing the distance. All of this can happen in a split second, but it’s enough to cause an accident.

If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by another driver, then you need to know how to seek financial compensation.