Left Turns Are Dangerous, Causing Some to Question Their Necessity

The research is clear; left turns are generally dangerous for all motorists — and pedestrians. According to a study by New York City’s transportation planners, left-hand turns were three times as likely to cause a deadly crash involving a pedestrian as right-hand turns. Drivers turning left accounted for 19 percent of serious pedestrian and bicyclist injuries in New York City.

According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), turning left is one of the most common pre-crash events, occurring in 22 percent of crashes, as opposed to 1.2 percent for right turns. About 61 percent of crashes that occur while crossing an intersection or turning involve left turns, as opposed to 3.1 percent involving right turns. The NHTSA also found that 36 percent of fatal accidents involving a motorcycle involved a left-hand turn in front of a motorcycle. Traffic engineers also claim that left-hand turns can cause congestion, further increasing the risk of accidents.

Vehicles turning left have to turn against the flow of oncoming cars, which some say is dangerous and builds up traffic. In fact, the parcel delivery company UPS instructs its drivers to almost never take left-hand turns, which the company claims saves millions of gallons on gas each year due to decreased time waiting in traffic. The company’s software determines the most efficient route for each truck, and generally that route avoids left turns. One UPS employee explained that when a motorist makes left turns, their car has to idle longer, which burns fuel.

According to the NHTSA, one reason crashes occur more often when one vehicle is making a left turn may be due to drivers turning left at intersections where they have an obstructed view. This may cause them to misjudge the available time to make the turn or the speed at which another car is traveling. Left-hand turns are so dangerous, in fact, that some traffic engineers say that left turns should be banned altogether, at least in urban areas.

Motorcyclist Killed in Crash with Tow-Truck Making Left Turn

Earlier this month, a motorcyclist was killed as he was crossing through an intersection. According to one news source, the motorcyclist was struck when a tow truck attempted to make a left turn. Evidently, the crash occurred at around 9:30 in the evening, when the tow truck made a left turn across the motorcyclist’s path as he was traveling in the opposite direction.

The motorcyclist was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead due to the severe body trauma he sustained in the accident. The tow truck driver, as well as the truck’s passenger, were not injured. Currently, an investigation is underway to determine what may have caused the fatal accident.

Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Truck Accident?

If you or someone you love has been injured in a trucking accident, you should consult with a personal injury law firm that has the skills and experience to handle tractor-trailer and semi-truck accident cases. Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers is one such firm. Over the years, we have helped many of our clients who have been victims of truck accidents and who have suffered serious interruptions in their lives due to physical and emotional harm, the imposition of hospital and medical bills, and financial losses, including lost wages and property damage. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Maryland trucking accident, call us toll-free at 1-800-654-1949 to schedule your free consultation. Calling is risk-free because we will not bill you for our services unless we are able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

More Blog Posts:

Intoxicated Truck Drivers Pose a Major Threat to Maryland Motorists, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published March 29, 2017.

Distracted Driving Likely Played a Role in Fatal Church Bus Accident, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published April 12, 2017.

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