Rules to Avoid Left Hand Turn Collisions

There are traffic laws that help prevent dangerous left-hand turns by motorists. Hence, they are good intentioned codes designed to help consumers avoid collisions. And adherence to these rules should get followed by all California motor vehicle operators. Attorneys for car accident cases will use these laws as a basis to get money for their injured clients.

The laws involving fault in the left turn collisions are well established. Because this can be a dangerous maneuver at an intersection, the legislature stepped in. They want to help prevent more accidents. Their desire to do something got buttressed by depressing intersection collision statistics.

Hence, it is determined this is the most dangerous maneuver drivers can make. The reason is that when turning left the vehicle enters a lane of traffic that is for other oncoming vehicles. So rather than remaining in their lane, now they are blocking the travel of oncoming vehicles.

Left hand turn vehicle
Grabbing hold of the wheel for a left-hand turn.

Table of Contents:

The Left Hand Turn Peculiarities

Making this type of turn requires the driver to use a duty of extreme caution. Hence, they must make certain they are not pulling into the path of another vehicle. The driver always has an obligation to use signals. Because of this, the driver shows another vehicle operator their planned maneuver. And governing this signaling rule are traffic laws. They say this must happen at least 100 feet before reaching the intersection. When steering left, it must not place any other vehicles at risk of harm to occupants.

The Burden of Proof in Left Hand Turn Collisions.

If an accident occurs, the driver making the left hand turn will bear the liability. After all, they have the duty to ensure safely maneuvering onto a roadway with motorists in that lane.

Another duty this driver has is yielding to drivers approaching from the opposite direction. Also, they must yield to vehicles within a near the intersection. So they must take steps not to put the other vehicles at risk by making the turn. Some courts have ruled if they fail to look a second time before making the left turn they failed the duty of care. Hence, they violated traffic laws.

When Accidents Happen.

When an accident occurs involving a turning motorist, who was making a left turn, they will have the burden of proof. They have this duty under traffic rules. So they must turn safely for the other motorists. They must protect others on the road they are turning onto, as well as other drivers approaching the intersection.

Left turning motorists can become presumed negligent. So for example, if they cross the center line while making the turn. So if that is when the impact happened it is their burden to shift.

And even if they had a signal with a green arrow, they must prove the light was green. The other burden would be if they arrived at the intersection before the affected vehicles.

Working and Non-Working Traffic Signals.

These rules apply when an intersection has a traffic signal that is not functioning properly. You are making a left turn. You and other motorists arriving at this intersection must use extreme caution. And you must do so when exiting the intersection. The left turning driver will have the highest degree of duty to ensure they can make the turn safely. And they must yield to other vehicles.

If a collision is at an intersection with a broken traffic signal, the driver must think. It is an exquisite idea to take photos or video of the signal immediately. So now after the accident, there is evidence of the traffic signal’s condition. Make police on the scene aware of working or non-working traffic signals.

Also, ask to get it in the accident report. To learn more about these intersection accidents, contact a personal injury attorney. Understanding your legal rights is as simple as calling (213) 596-9642.

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