Do you know what the most dangerous driving maneuver is?
Driving a vehicle is an everyday activity for most people. While it can feel like we’re on autopilot when getting behind the wheel, we’re actually making decisions and adjustments every second to keep ourselves, our passengers and other vehicles safe. Even for the most experienced driver, there’s one maneuver that is the most dangerous: left hand turns.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that close to half of the 5.8 million car crashes in the U.S. are intersection-related and the majority of those are the result of making a left turn. In addition, a study by New York City transportation planners found that left turns were three times as likely to cause a deadly crash involving a pedestrian.
Why are left-hand turns dangerous?
Left-hand turns are dangerous because of the many factors a driver must take into account before making the turn. The driver is assessing many variables, and the slightest distraction or miscalculation can be deadly. Left-hand turns are made dangerous because:
- The vehicle making the turn is crossing the opposite lane and disrupting the flow of traffic
- The driver is watching for pedestrians and bicyclists in the crosswalk
- The driver is gauging the speed and distance of oncoming cars
In addition to your own driving, a left-hand turn requires that you be vigilant of the movement of oncoming vehicles and pedestrians.
How to Make Left-Hand Turns Safer
Staying safe in an intersection during a left-turn requires paying close attention to the conditions around you. Stay alert, pay attention to distracted pedestrians and don’t turn until you’ve noted oncoming vehicle’s speed and actions and have gauged a safe intersection for you to make your turn.
If you live in Northwest Arkansas and have questions or concerns about a car accident you have experienced, contact a Fayetteville car accident lawyer at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton for a free consultation.