Left-hand turns can be dangerous, especially without the benefit of traffic signals. Drivers must yield to oncoming traffic, which often leads people to believe the person making the left turn is always at fault. That is not necessarily the case.
As always, accident liability depends on the individual circumstances of the claim. Here’s an overview of determining fault in left turn accidents.
Who has the right of way?
Right of way helps determine who is at fault in left turn accidents. Drivers are expected to yield to oncoming traffic and wait until they can safely cross the necessary lanes before making their turn.
Depending on the traffic signals and intersection type, the driver may have the right of way for a left-hand turn. For example, turning left on a green arrow is a protected left turn, while turning left on a regular green light is considered unprotected: the driver must exercise caution and yield to oncoming traffic. At four-way stops, drivers take turns with the right of way.
When are drivers not at fault for left turn accidents?
While the majority of left turn accidents are caused by the driver making the left turn, that’s not always true. For example, if you have a green left arrow signal, you have the right of way until the signal changes. If another vehicle ignores their red signal and causes a collision, the driver making the left turn is not to blame.
Similarly, when oncoming drivers run stop signs or stoplights, commit traffic violations or drive under the influence, they are likely to bear at least partial liability.
Why are left turns and left turn accidents so dangerous?
Left turns are dangerous because your vehicle must cross one or more lanes. Drivers must be cautious, alert and exercise good judgement, especially when there are multiple lanes of traffic involved.
Left turn accidents often lead to perpendicular “T-bone” crashes. Depending on how fast the vehicles are going, these collisions can cause severe injuries or even death. While modern vehicles are often equipped with side and front airbags, they’re not always sufficient to ensure you walk away unharmed.
If you’re in a left turn accident, call the Law Offices of Tim Misny right away. We can review your claim and explain your legal options. You may be eligible for compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.
Discuss your claim with an Ohio accident attorney
The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you with your accident claim. If you or a loved one were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (800) 556-4769 so that I can evaluate your case right away.