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Should You Avoid Turning Left?

Sign showing left turnHave you ever heard that UPS drivers aren’t allowed to turn left? That isn’t completely accurate.  Operating procedures at UPS directs that drivers should avoid left-hand turns when possible, but there is no outright ban on them.  Believe it or not, the cost savings related to this is in the millions annually.  Think about it.  If the vehicles are not stopped to wait for a left turn, then they are not sitting, wasting fuel. Besides fuel savings, one may tend to think that fewer left turns could potentially mean fewer accidents.  Our firm sees quite a few accidents related to a left turning vehicle.  It can certainly be dangerous to make a left turn in busy traffic or non ideal conditions related to road and object visibility.

There are several reasons why left turns are considered to be one of the most dangerous routine maneuvers a driver can make.

1. Acceleration

It’s not unusual for drivers to accelerate as they are going into a left turn. This can be dangerous, especially if near an intersection where pedestrians may be present.

2. Shoulder Power

Many don’t realize that a left turn requires more muscle strength than a right turn. A left turn is often wider, and it takes longer to complete. This can be difficult for senior drivers or those with mobility issues.

3. A-Pillars

The A-pillars in your vehicle are the posts that are on either side of your windshield, holding it in place and supporting the weight of your roof. Increased safety standards have required wider pillars. These can block your vision.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said that more than a third of all accidents occur at an intersection or while turning. Statistics out of New York have shown that crashes involving vehicles and pedestrians or cyclists are twice as likely to be fatal when the crash occurred during a left turn. There was a serious injury rate of three times higher than when making right turns.

It is also known that a driver must be able to judge the speed and distance of oncoming vehicles when making a left turn. This needs to happen quickly, and a wrong estimation can put everyone in danger.

To say that you should never turn left again is true but unrealistic. If you can avoid a left turn, do so. If you can’t, proceed with caution. Make sure that you can see clearly before proceeding, and make sure you are driving without distraction.

If you are involved in a car accident in Charlotte and the other driver is found to be at fault, reach out to our office. You have legal rights under state law that include recovering damages for the financial losses you have suffered. Call our team today and we will help you schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation. We understand the stress you are under, and we are ready to put our knowledge and experience to work for you and your family.

Posted In: Car Accidents

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