Left Turn Car Accidents

left turn car accidentBy the end of 2014, nearly five million people in Arizona had legal driver's licenses with just under three million of those residing in Maricopa County. At the same time, more than 7.5 million vehicles were registered in the state and more than half of those were standard passenger cars. Most of these vehicles and most of these drivers took the road at some point in 2014 and continue to do so today; with Arizona's growing population, it is anticipated that both the number of licensed drivers and the number of registered vehicles will continue to increase with each passing year, placing a greater demand on the roadways and leading to a greater concern for the safety of motorists.

As these numbers continue to grow, so do the number of traffic accidents, including car accidents and motorcycle crashes, that happen in Arizona. These collisions occur in myriad settings but almost 40 percent of them happen at intersections, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The reasons that intersections pose such a real threat should be apparent when thinking about what an intersection is - a designated crossing path where vehicles traveling in opposite directions must occupy the same space, though not at the same time. Additionally, allowing motorists to change their direction of travel at intersections with a right or a left turn increases the complexities of these crossings and drastically increases the odds of a collision taking place.

When only intersection-related accidents are considered, the greatest factor leading to those impacts is a motor vehicle attempting a left-hand turn. Most of these crashes occur because a driver fails to notice oncoming traffic, fails to appreciate the speed at which oncoming traffic advances, or otherwise fails to follow the rules of the road.

From a legal perspective, left turn accidents are almost always the fault of the driver attempting the turn - but not always. A typical intersection is set up so that oncoming traffic proceeding straight through the crossing has the right-of-way while those wishing to turn left against that traffic must yield and wait to turn until traffic clears. At times of heavy traffic, a motorist may be unable to complete a left hand turn during a single traffic signal and may be forced to wait some time to proceed. Therefore, many drivers take an aggressive approach when turning left and will attempt the turn in risky situations, potentially causing an impact and almost always placing that turning motorist at-fault.

Causes of Left Hand Turn Accidents in Phoenix

For its part, Phoenix and the surrounding cities have taken numerous affirmative steps to plan the intersections of the Valley and to increase their safety. Nonetheless, collisions happen every day and many of those accidents cause injuries.

One cause of left turn collisions is misjudgment on the part of the driver attempting the turn. Though many intersections attempt to put space between a left turn lane and other lanes of direct traffic, the separation does not remove the judgment that is needed on the part of a driver to safety execute a turn. Often, it is difficult to determine the speed of an approaching vehicle and if a driver waiting to turn left erroneously believes an oncoming vehicle is traveling slower than it actually is, that turning motorist may begin to enter the intersection, placing his or her vehicle into the path of the oncoming car and causing an impact.

A similar situation emerges at intersections that have traffic lights controlling the movements of those wishing to turn left. Most often in the form of a turn arrow, these intersections can ensure that motorists clear the intersection even if there is no break in oncoming traffic. Yet if a turning driver fails to yield on a blinking turn signal, turns before the signal changes in the driver's favor, or fails to stop when the signal terminates for turning traffic, a driver may still be acting recklessly by placing a vehicle in the intersection when it is unsafe to do so, thereby threatening a collision.

Surprisingly, many motorists who cause left turn car accidents report that they never saw or never noticed the vehicle that they struck before the impact. When the vehicle involved is a passenger car, a van, or a truck, the argument that another driver never saw it is difficult to accept unless visual obstructions existed in the area. The claim may be more believable if the second vehicle is a motorcycle and therefore relatively small but this is not a valid excuse for causing a crash. It is the duty of every driver to respect the rights of others, including motorcyclists, and failing to do so may be negligence.

Personal Injury Relief in Maricopa County

Left turn accidents often involve vehicles traveling in opposite directions, and, as a result, the impacts of these collisions can be severe. Damage to the vehicles involved is likely as are personal injuries to drivers, passengers, and others in the area.

If you have been injured in a collision that involved one or more drivers turning left, you may be entitled to seek financial compensation for your damages. The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to take your call and to provide you with a free case consultation without any obligation on your part. Call us toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER, locally at (602) 819-5191, or contact us online today and let us help you understand your legal options and your legal rights.

If you have been injured in a left turn car accident, call Abels & Annes, P.C. now at (855) PHX-LAWYER or Contact Us online for a free case consultation.
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