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A traffic habit that drastically increases your crash risk

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2022 | Personal Injury |

Driving is dangerous even if it is a common daily practice for most American adults. Even if you maintain your vehicle carefully and try to make safe decisions at the wheel, other drivers can cause crashes that you have little chance of avoiding.

Drivers who comply with traffic laws can still contribute to risk of a wreck by completing particularly dangerous maneuvers. One common action taken in traffic, especially at intersections, has a strong association with major motor vehicle collisions.

Minimizing how frequently you perform this particular maneuver could reduce your chances of getting into a car crash or causing one.

Left-hand turns directly increase your crash risks

Turning left means leaving your vehicle exposed to oncoming traffic and typically involves crossing not one but two lanes of traffic. When compared with turning right or proceeding straight through an intersection, a left-hand turn generally takes longer to complete, meaning the overall risk for a crash is high.

Inadequate surveillance by the person turning left or the other people approaching the intersection will increase the risk of a crash. Failing to use a turn signal can also increase the risk. Taking a few extra seconds to double-check before turning and ensuring that you always signal your intent to turn can help.

Left-hand turns cause a significant percentage of wrecks

Experts break crashes down into different categories, and one of the more common kinds is the cross-path collision. Vehicles moving across each other’s paths are at high risk of a collision. When these crashes do occur, 53% of them involve one of the drivers making a left-hand turn. Overall, roughly 22% of crashes result from a driver turning left.

How does learning about crash risk help you?

The average driver cannot reasonably expect to eliminate all left-hand turns when they drive. However, you can take steps to minimize how frequently you turn left.

You can plan to avoid left-hand turns at intersections where you know crashes frequently occur or during times with particularly heavy traffic. Even if going around the block adds a few minutes to your arrival time, the increase in your overall safety may be well worth the delay.

Learning about what increases your risk for a traffic crash can lead to better driving decisions and it can improve personal safety.