Driving is dangerous in and of itself. Roughly 40,000 people pass away in car accidents every year in the United States. Each time that you get in your car, you are taking on that level of risk. Whether you’re driving to work or just going to the grocery store, you’ve determined that it is worth the risk of being involved in an accident.
That being said, left turns are one of the most dangerous maneuvers that you can make. Some statistics claim that about 25% of car accidents are simply the result of drivers turning left. This means that making a left turn, whether at an intersection or otherwise, is one of the most hazardous things that you can decide to do during any given drive.
Why is it dangerous?
There are two main reasons why this is dangerous. The first is just the design of the roadway itself. If you are turning left, you have to drive through the oncoming lanes. There is simply no way around it. You may have a light controlling when you turn or you may be asked to judge the gap, but you definitely have to drive through the oncoming lanes either way. Other maneuvers do not require this, so there is far less risk of an accident.
The second reason for the danger is that it means most left turns rely on drivers to make proper decisions. They have to turn at the right time when they have a big enough gap. They have to wait their turn at the light. They have to make sure that they go at the right time at a four-way stop. Because of this, any little mistake by a driver can be enough to cause a crash. Everyone who turns left is counting on all of the drivers around them not making any of these errors, but that doesn’t happen as often as one would wish.
It’s very hard to avoid having to take left turns, so that means you will continue to face this risk and you could be injured in an accident caused by another driver. If you are, then you may need to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other costs.