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Is there a right way to make left-hand turns?

If you are teaching your teenager to drive, you will quickly discover how easy it can be to become overly comfortable in our driving abilities. Riding with someone who has yet to develop habits can highlight just how complicated and dangerous some driving situations are.

And some situations are far riskier than others are. For instance, left-hand turns can be especially dangerous.

What makes left turns so dangerous?

This AAA article calls left-hand turns an everyday driving challenge. There are several reasons why making a left turn is more dangerous than making a right turn.

  1. Drivers typically speed up when turning left and slow down when turning right.
  2. You typically have to cross in front of at least one lane of oncoming traffic.
  3. Oncoming traffic that is turning left in front of you can obscure approaching vehicles behind them.
  4. Not only is there oncoming traffic to watch for, but there could also be pedestrians and cyclists crossing in your path.
  5. It can be easy to misjudge gaps between vehicles and the speed of oncoming traffic.

There is a right way to make a left turn

With all the hazards that can come into play when making a left turn, it might seem like the only safe left turn is three right turns. However, you do not have to drive in a circle just to get to where you want to go.

When making a left turn, or when teaching a new driver how to make one, the most crucial element is to watch out for oncoming traffic. If you cannot see or are not sure you have enough time to get across, just wait.

It is also crucial that you not turn too early or pull too far into an intersection. Doing so could create confusion among other drivers, as could turning without using your turn signal. You must also yield to any bicyclists or pedestrians.

Finally, do not follow a turning vehicle ahead of you too closely. If that driver stops unexpectedly, you could rear-end them or be in danger of getting struck by oncoming traffic.

Unfortunately, not everyone will heed these safe driving tips, resulting in a devastating car crash. If that happens, victims can contact our firm to discuss the options for a personal injury claim.