Why You Should Avoid Left Turns

Left turn sign

It’s a fact: left turns are much more dangerous than right turns. They cause more crashes and typically result in more severe injuries. Most experts, including the biggest shipping companies in the world, agree there’s a very good reason why you should avoid left turns.

Left Turns are Deadly

About 20% of all car crashes involve a left turn, making them 55x more dangerous than the average right-hand turn. That’s not a coincidence; left turns, particularly unprotected left turns, are intrinsically more dangerous than right turns.

A left turn exposes you to cross traffic from all sides. You face drivers from directly ahead, who might cause a head-on collision. You also face drivers from the left and right, who might be running a red light and cause a side-impact crash (t-bone). Head-on and side-impact collisions aren’t just more common at left turns, they’re also two of the deadliest types of crashes.

When you make an unprotected left turn, you need to be certain that you have enough time to cross the intersection, merge into your lane, and get up to speed before you pull past the white line.

Professionals Don’t Turn Left

About 10 years ago, the major delivery companies realized the dangers of left turns. They understood that waiting at intersections created delays in their routes, that left turns use more fuel, and that they could avoid a significant number of car crashes if they cut out left turns altogether. Now, major logistics companies like UPS and FedEX don’t make left turns unless they absolutely have to.

If you find yourself facing tricky left turns, particularly in busy city centers, here’s an easy alternative the big companies use. Instead of making an unprotected left turn, make three rights. This will effectively send you in a square around the block, getting you to your destination without the risk of a left turn. During rush-hour traffic in tight gridlock cities, making three rights can be faster than waiting for a left turn as you benefit from both the green lights and being able to turn on a red light.

Next time you’re faced with a stressful unprotected left turn, remember to watch for cross traffic and consider turning right when you can’t find an opening.

If you or someone you love were involved in a serious car crash, we can help. If you’d like an experienced Birmingham accident lawyer from Montgomery Ponder, LLC to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (205) 377-5004.

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