How Left-Hand Turns Affect Road Safety

left hand turns

Think about the last time you saw a UPS truck. Did it make a left-hand turn? Probably not, but do you know why?

While the initial practice started decades ago, now, with the assistance of GPS devices, computers and smart phones, UPS drivers can avoid left-hand turns even more easily – and they do. Carriers favor right-hand turns, and only turn left when the action is unavoidable. By doing so, the company saves millions of gallons of fuel each year, increases its delivery efficiency and avoids accidents.

According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Association, turning left is a leading critical pre-crash event, and occurs in 22.2 percent of crashes. Further, approximately 61 percent of crashes that take place while turning or crossing an intersection involve a left-hand turn.

Should trucks, big rigs and other commercial vehicles avoid left-hand turns to help promote road safety?

Avoiding Left-Hand Turns – Is the Strategy Safer?

UPS truck drivers aren’t the only ones behind the wheel who can (and should) do their part to be cautious while driving.

According to the CDL manual, which addresses left-hand turns in Section 2, all truckers should follow this warning: “Before you start across a road, make sure you can get all the way across before traffic reaches you.”

In a recent study, CNN reported that left-hand turns are often considered unsafe, and are three times more likely to kill pedestrians than right-hand turns.

A left-hand turn is generally dangerous, due to the fact that:

  • This type of turn disrupts the flow of traffic
  • Speed, oncoming traffic and pedestrians must be considered
  • Not all drivers remember to use their turn signals

Though evidence supports that laws regarding left-hand turns should be re-evaluated, it doesn’t seem that a change will happen any time soon.

However, you can be proactive!

As a driver, not only should you be aware of large truck drivers making left-hand turns, you must also do your part to make these turns as safe as possible.

Tips for Making Left-Hand Turns

The next time you make a left-hand turn, consider these tips:

  • Always use a turn signal
  • Only make the turn if you can safely complete it
  • Check your blind spots
  • Know what is in front of and behind you
  • Yield to pedestrians and vehicles who have the right-of-way
  • Don’t stop suddenly without warning
  • Avoid cutting corners

Or if you can, the next time you get into the driver’s seat, attempt to complete your trip without making a left-hand turn. This may take some extra planning on your part. However, see if the act can be done. You may need to use a map or GPS device for rerouting assistance, but the added effort could help prevent anaccident.

Contact a Trucking Accident Attorney Today

If you or someone you know has been involved in a collision involving a truck, big rig or commercial vehicle, contact the attorneys at Friend Rogers Goldberg today by calling 877-591-1801 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. 

We dedicate more than 95 percent of our practice to handling trucking accidents. Whether you’ve been injured or have property damage, we can help you move forward. Let us be your advocates.

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