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The Dangers of Left Turns

Left-hand turns are an extremely dangerous driving maneuver, especially at intersections where drivers must cross multiple lanes and travel into oncoming traffic. Deciding to turn left at the wrong time or speeding through an intersection can have devastating consequences for others on the road, including debilitating and life-altering injuries, or even fatality.

When making a left turn at an intersection or onto a private road, Texas law requires that a driver yield the right of way to a vehicle that is already in the intersection coming from the opposite direction. The law also specifies that a driver must yield when another vehicle is close enough to the intersection to potentially cause a hazard.

Failure to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic is still one of the most common causes of left-turn accidents, along with the following:

  • Increased speed — Since a left turn requires more space, drivers often accelerate in order to turn more quickly. This sudden increase in speed can pose a risk to pedestrians, bicyclists and the occupants of other vehicles on the road.
  • Misjudged distance — When making a left turn, it is often difficult to judge the speed or distance of an approaching vehicle. If a driver hesitates or accelerates due to poor judgment, a head-on collision or T-bone accident can occur.
  • Obstructed view — Even when the light is green, it can be difficult to see oncoming traffic if a driver’s view is blocked by a truck, a large vehicle or another obstruction.
  • Inexperienced driving — Left turns require a certain amount of skill and can be challenging for inexperienced drivers. While turning left, a driver must be able to make safe driving decisions while paying attention to multiple elements at once.
  • Traffic lights — Although traffic lights are implemented for the safety of those on the road, many drivers attempt to speed through yellow lights or run through red lights at intersections.

Determining liability in left-turn car accidents can be complex, as more than one driver may share the blame. However, an injured driver who shares fault may still be eligible to receive monetary recovery for their economic and non-economic damages. Since Texas is a modified comparative negligence state, a claimant may be entitled to compensation as long as they are not more than 50 percent responsible for the accident. The victim’s compensation would be reduced by their proportion of fault.

If you were injured in a left-turn accident, it’s crucial to have a personal injury attorney by your side to protect your rights. Leland Reinhard Law Firm provides aggressive advocacy for car accident victims in Texas and strives to secure the maximum compensation they deserve. Call 817-645-5400 or contact me online to schedule a free consultation at my Cleburne office.