Left turns are one of the most common driving maneuvers that Baltimore County, MD motorists use every day. They are also the riskiest moves for drivers, riders, and pedestrians. Turning left at a busy intersection can be challenging because it requires accurate judgment and complex decision-making. When you consider the number of intersections that do not have a left turn arrow to assist, you can see why so many left turn accidents happen. If you were hurt through someone else’s failure to safely maneuver a left turn, consult with a Maryland auto accident attorney regarding your rights. You may also find some background information useful.
Left Turn Accidents by the Numbers
In its publication, Crash Factors in Intersection-Related Crashes, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration listed some disturbing statistics on left turn traffic collisions, including:
- Left turns are the top cause of accidents that occur in intersections, at 22.2%. Only 1.2% of crashes involve a motorist turning right.
- Accidents caused by left turn maneuvers can lead to life-threatening, serious, or fatal injuries. Many of these incidents are head-on impacts.
- Insurance company statistics reveal that left turns are a factor in around 31% of all severe accident claims. Which are defined as traffic-related collisions that involve $100,000 or more in injury and property damage losses.
- Compared to motorists making right turns or crossing through an intersection, pedestrians are three times more likely to be killed in left turn accidents.
- Just over one-third of fatal motorcycle crashes involve a driver turning a vehicle into the rider’s path.
Factors Behind Left Turn Accidents
There are many reasons that left turns are among the riskiest maneuvers for drivers, who may:
- Improperly judge the speed of an oncoming vehicle;
- Fail to comprehend the timing it takes to complete a left turn;
- Speed through the left turn;
- May be affected by an obstructed view;
- Be rushed and make poor decisions;
- Fail to properly yield right-of-way;
- Not see a pedestrian in the adjacent crosswalk;
- Miscalculate a gap in oncoming traffic;
- Be engaged in cell phone use, such as talking, texting, checking social media, or other activities;
- Be distracted driving in other ways, including eating, drinking, adjusting the radio, and related activities; or,
- Otherwise make mistakes when making left turns in traffic.
Note when the driver errs in making a left turn, passengers can be seriously injured. The right side of the vehicle is exposed to oncoming traffic, commonly resulting in a T-bone or side-swipe collision. These types of incident happen most frequently when a motorist is trying to beat a red light or left turn arrow.
Contact a Baltimore County, MD Auto Accidents Attorney
If you were hurt in a left turn accident or other traffic-related crash, you may be entitled to recover for such losses as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. For more information about your legal remedies under Maryland law, please contact the Baltimore County, MD offices of attorney Michael A. Freedman. We can schedule a free consultation to review your situation and explain your options.