Why are left turns so dangerous?

On Behalf of | Jan 24, 2023 | Car Accidents

One of the most dangerous times when driving is anytime your vehicle must cross the center line of the roadway. The two plain reasons to cross the center line are when passing and making a left turn.

Left turns are one of the most dangerous maneuvers you can make. Yet, they occur all the time. A left-hand turn accident can happen anywhere, but they are common at intersections without a left turn signal.

Reasons for the risk

Left-hand turns are so risky because they require crossing the centerline into oncoming traffic. They usually result in an accident due to human error. Either you do not see another vehicle coming or the other vehicle is not obeying the traffic signals. Of course, there may also be accident situations where signals are not working properly or the road conditions cause sliding. Sometimes, unclear sightlines are also to blame.

Another situation that may occur is on a two-lane road where you are turning left and a vehicle behind you gets impatient and tries to pass when you are making the left-hand turn.

Reducing the risk

It is important to make sure you have a clear line of sight before turning. You should also check your rearview mirror for anyone behind you who may be passing. Everyone needs to make sure to watch out for turning vehicles and follow road laws to avoid collisions during left-hand turns.

Beyond that, governments can make changes to roadways to reduce the need to turn left. Introducing roundabouts is a common solution. Turn lights are also helpful.

It can be difficult to find lasting solutions. That also can be expensive and time-consuming. But raising awareness of the danger of left-hand turns can help in the meantime until infrastructure solutions are in place.