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“When it comes to roadway hazards, making a lefthand turn into an intersection is one of the most dangerous driving decisions you can make.” (1) A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) analysis reveals 53.1% of cross path crashes involve left-hand turns. (2)
In a different report on intersection-related crashes, the NHTSA notes in 22.2% of car accidents, the critical event making the crash imminent was a left-hand turn. (3)
For cities like New York City (NYC), left-hand turns can be especially hazardous for pedestrians and bicyclists. A study in New York found left-hand turns were three times as likely to cause a deadly crash involving a pedestrian as right-hand turns. (4)
A NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) study on pedestrian and bicyclist crashes involving left turns finds, “Between 2010 and 2014, 108 pedestrians and bicyclists were killed by left turning vehicles.” (5)
The study also notes: (6)
Such statistics indicate why left-hand turn accidents have gained a lot of attention from federal, state, and local governments. These agencies are seeking to reduce the number of injuries and deaths associated with left-hand turns.
A left turn involves a driver crossing multiple lanes of traffic. Not only are other vehicles at risk, but also pedestrians and cyclists as well. Understanding the factors contributing to these types of accidents can prove helpful.
If you have been injured in a left-hand turn accident, contact us today.Get a Free Case Review
Factors contributing to left-hand turn accidents include:
As is the case with all vehicle accidents, left-hand turn accidents pose the grave potential for severe injuries and fatalities.
All accidents involving motor vehicles can result in life-threatening injuries or death. Your position in a vehicle at the time of an accident partially determines your injuries. Your injuries are also affected by the proper use — or lack of use — of restraints (seat belts). (12)
Serious potential injuries include:
All of these injuries can result in painful recovery, lost wages, and high medical bills, if not death. Your best chance to recover the costs could be a lawsuit. Key to a successful lawsuit in a left-hand turn accident case, where there have been serious injuries, is determining legal responsibility or liability. (20)
If you have suffered from a left-hand turn accident, contact us today.Get a Free Case Review
Most left-hand turn accidents are the fault of the driver making the turn; oncoming traffic usually has the right of way. If you are hit and injured by someone making a left-hand turn, you should file a lawsuit against them.
In other cases, you may be the one making the left-hand turn. In certain scenarios you, as the driver, may not be at fault.
One example is when your view of oncoming traffic is obstructed. Let’s say you are driving in poor weather conditions such as snow or an ice storm. Because of the snow or sleet, you do not see the oncoming traffic before you make your left turn. If you can show the court this lack of visibility was the reason for the accident, you might not be liable for the accident.
Additionally, demonstrable problems with the road — either in its design or construction — might mean the group that made the roadway could be at fault. Any lawsuit may need to be filed against it.
In other cases, you may be able to show another driver is at fault for the accident even though you made the left-hand turn. For instance, if the driver of an oncoming vehicle is speeding. You need to prove the accident would not have occurred had the other driver been driving at normal speed.
Left-hand turn accident cases can be complex. The services of a knowledgeable and experienced attorney are your best option for a successful outcome for your case.
Weitz & Luxenberg is very successful in accident and personal injury cases. With our help, clients were awarded millions in damages through verdicts and settlements. Some of our accomplishments include: