Have you ever found yourself waiting at a green light, not sure whether you have enough time to make that unprotected left turn? You’re not alone.
Many drivers take greater risks when turning through an intersection, often because they misjudge how far away a vehicle is or because they ran a yellow light. But does that mean left turns are fundamentally dangerous?
According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), collisions at unprotected left turns makeup nearly 1-in-3 car accidents in the U.S. As incredible as it sounds, you are almost 55x more likely to have an accident at a left turn than a right turn.
Shipping companies (such as UPS and FedEX) are aware of these dangers and plan their route appropriately. For example, UPS drivers avoid left turns whenever possible. Not only does this protect drivers from left turns, but it helps them move faster as they can turn against a red light.
That still leaves the question, what makes left turns dangerous?
Making a left turn means entering an intersection and exposing yourself to traffic from three directions and potentially more lanes. If one person at a 12-lane intersection runs a red light, your car could be struck, most likely at the side (where there is little protection) or from the front (where crashes tend to be most severe).
By comparison, right turns are safer as vehicles can only come from one direction. If a driver does hit you during a right-hand turn, it’s likely that it will be a rear-end collision, which tends to have less severe injuries than the aforementioned head-on collision or t-bone crash.
The message is clear. Right turns are safer than left turns. If you need to make a left turn at a busy intersection and there’s no protected turn light, consider taking an alternate route. It just might protect you from a serious wreck.
If you or someone you love suffered severe injuries in a car crash, we can help. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with an experienced car accident attorney from Dunk Law Firm, please don’t hesitate to call (800) 674-9339 or send us an email.