Why Are Left Turns So Dangerous in California?

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Left-hand turns are particularly dangerous for California drivers. Left-hand turn collisions are, in fact, some of the most common types of car accidents. But why are left turns so dangerous?

Why Are Left Turns So Dangerous in California?

1. Drivers are cutting across traffic heading in a different direction.

2. If drivers aren’t careful, they can easily hit an oncoming car and suffer serious injuries (or even life-threatening injuries).

3. Drivers turning left do not have the right of way (drivers turning right do).

4. Drivers turning left are often cutting across oncoming traffic moving at 35-55 mph (or even faster).

5. The driver’s view of traffic may be obstructed when turning left. (For example, a driver turning left may have their field of sight obstructed by a driver turning left on the other side of the intersection.

6. California law requires drivers turning left to yield to oncoming traffic (except in certain circumstances). Drivers making a U-turn are also required to yield to drivers trying to turn right.

7. Drivers turning left in an intersection need to get out of the intersection before the light changes or risk obstructing traffic.

The Danger is Paired with Increased Risk of Liability:

In addition to being one of the more dangerous maneuvers, California drivers can attempt, making a left-hand turn also increases the risk of liability if an accident does occur. The increased risks are based on the fact that the drivers traveling through the intersection in the opposite direction are following the rules of the road (unless they are speeding, obviously distracted, or trying to change lanes in the middle of the intersection). Based on the rules of the road, and the placement of the vehicles involved in an accident, California drivers turning left are often found at fault for car accidents.

Some Situations Can Shift Fault to the Oncoming Driver:

In some situations, the oncoming driver may be held partially responsible for a car accident involving a driver turning left. The oncoming driver has the right of way according to the law, but they are still required to obey general traffic laws, including avoiding reckless driving. Common factors that may shift liability or partial liability to the oncoming driver include speeding, impaired driving, running a red light or stop sign, or distracted driving.

If you have been injured in an accident and need help getting fair compensation for your injury, get in touch with Moss Bollinger, Sherman Oaks, California personal injury attorney. He's dedicated to protecting and asserting the rights of his clients. Call 866-942-7974 today for a free consultation or contact us online.

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