When you think about “risky” behaviors behind the wheel, drunk driving, fatigued driving and distracted driving probably top the list – but you probably don’t even consider just how dangerous a simple left-hand turn can be.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that left turns are just about the riskiest move that drivers can make. They’re considered “critical pre-crash events” in more than 22% of wrecks. (By comparison, right turns are cited as a precursor to a crash only a little more than 1% of the time.)
Why do left turns lead to wrecks?
There are actually several reasons that left turns are actually dangerous, not the least of which is that you have to cross traffic when you do it. That means you have to carefully judge how much distance there is between your vehicle and any oncoming traffic in the opposite lane – along with how much time you have to complete the turn.
That can be tough to do even under any condition, but it can be a lot harder when the sun is in your eyes, it’s dark out or there’s rain or snow coming down. In addition, you have to hope that drivers coming the opposite way will slow down if you run into a problem completing the turn as fast as you think you can.
Left turns are so notoriously dangerous that some delivery companies, including UPS, actively encourage their drivers to avoid them. Even their GPS devices are designed to take them to their destinations with minimal left turns.
Safety is every driver’s business, but not all drivers do what they should. If you’re injured by another driver’s mistakes, you have every reason to ask for fair compensation. Seeking legal guidance can be a good way to start.