How to Avoid Injury and Liability from Left Turn Accidents
Making a left turn is undoubtedly one of the most tricky and risky maneuvers a driver can expect to face. This is especially true if the intersection does not have a dedicated left turn signal or lane. It can cause some anxiety in even the most seasoned of drivers. There’s a good reason left turns should not be taken lightly.
Studies conducted by the Department of Transportation found that a crash at an intersection is most likely to result in a fatality if the accident involved a vehicle turning left. In most left-turn accidents, the driver attempting to make the left turn is the one found to be at fault. However, there are certain circumstances that would cause the fault to fall on the other driver instead. In this blog, our car accident attorney in New Orleans tells you how to safely make a left turn and how fault can fall to either party involved.
Making a Safe and Legal Left Turn
Good driving habits are the best way to avoid accidents resulting from left-hand turns.
When making a left-hand turn, it can be easy to misjudge how far away a vehicle is or how quickly it is approaching. Smaller vehicles, such as scooters and motorcycles, fit easily into blind spots and you may not even be aware of its presence until it is too late. This is why it is so important to be especially cautious when making a left turn at an intersection.
A driver is only guaranteed the right of way if there is a green arrow displayed on the traffic signal. Otherwise, the oncoming traffic will have the right of way and the driver attempting the left turn has to yield and wait for a safe opportunity.
Before making any turns, always engage your turn signal to alert other vehicles to your intentions. Check for any obstructions of your view of approaching traffic. You’ll want to take extra caution on the event of construction, hills, or foliage blocking your view. Be patient as you wait for a gap in the flow of traffic that is large enough for you to have time to make you turn. Do not take any unnecessary chances; if you’re unsure if you’ll fit, there is nothing wrong with waiting a bit longer for an opening you’re more comfortable with. Pay attention to all posted signs and traffic laws. Do not attempt a left turn where is it clearly prohibited or illegal.
Assigning Fault in Left Turn Accidents
As previously mentioned, the driver attempting to turn left does not usually have the right of way. Therefore, drivers turning left must yield to other vehicles and pedestrians. In the event of an accident, the driver turning left is presumed to be at fault for the collision. This is because most left-turn crashes are the result of negligence from the driver attempting the turn. Some of the most common reasons left-turning drivers find themselves liable in crashes are:
- Miscalculation of distance to cross the intersection
- Miscalculation of the speed of other drivers
- Obstruction of view and/or line of sight while turning
- Failure to use turn signal and/or yield right of way
- Illegal turns
However, certain conditions can result in liability falling to the opposing driver instead of the left-turning driving. Conditions such as:
- The opposing driver illegally proceed through a red light
- The other driver was speeding, especially if they were doing so at an excessively dangerous rate
- An unexpected event or circumstance required the turning driver to stop or swerve
- The left-turning driver attempted their turn under a green arrow and thus had the right of way
- The other driver showed clear negligence by texting and driving, driving while drowsy/fatigued, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
This situation requires the experience of a car accident attorney in New Orleans. The attorney will increase the likelihood of a positive outcome in this case because they will know how to gather the evidence needed to meet the burden of proof in this case.
A Car Accident Attorney in New Orleans with Your Best Interests in Mind
If you or someone you care about suffers injury or harm due to another’s negligence, please reach out to our car accident attorney in New Orleans. At Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys, our team puts their passion and experience to work to get you the compensation you deserve. Our offices are open Monday through Friday, from 8am to 5pm. But you can call us anytime, 24/7, by phone at (504) 345-1111. You can also reach us via the LiveChat on our website, day or night. We offer free initial consultations and won’t need any further fees until we emerge successful in your case. Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys.
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.