A left-hand turn in traffic is a challenging thing that many drivers try to avoid. It’s a dangerous maneuver because you have to watch for cars behind while at the same time you should try to make a left turn onto oncoming traffic.
The vehicles that are going in the opposite direction have the right-of-way when passing through an intersection or a highway.
If you’re trying to make a left turn, you must wait until it’s safe to cut across traffic. Left-hand turns often result in accidents, and the driver who makes the left turn is often at fault.
New York law doesn’t require drivers making left turns in intersections to yield, there are circumstances where the driver who’s making a left turn may not be at fault for an accident.
If you were involved in a left turn accident in New York, hire a car accident attorney to help you with your case.
Is a Driver Making a Left Turn Always at Fault in an Accident?
The New York law states that drivers making left-hand turns in intersections must yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic. A driver making a left turn will be at fault for an accident but not in every case. These car accident cases are based on a theory of negligence (a legal principle that states that a person didn’t act with the care that a reasonable person would do in similar situations).
New York law considers negligence if the driver fails to yield right-of-way in making a left-hand turn into oncoming traffic. However, that doesn’t mean that a car making a left-hand turn is always at fault in a car accident.
A left turn accident can happen if a wild animal crosses the road accidentally, causing the driver to make an abrupt maneuver that usually ends in a crash. Road hazards and bad weather can also contribute to such accidents.
Examples Where the Left Turner is Not at Fault
In some cases, the person making the left turn may not be liable for the accident. If, for example, the driver had a left-turn arrow and the other car pass on a red light, then the driver making the left turn won’t be considered liable for the crash. In this case, the driver that runs the red light will be held liable.
New York is a comparative negligence state, which means that even if you’re liable for an accident, you can still recover a claim, based on the percentage that you’re at fault.
Who Has Right-of-Way When Making a Left Turn?
Any vehicle that is making a left-turn when approaching traffic, must yield right-of-way, under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law. The driver of a vehicle aiming to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, driveway, or a private road, will yield the right of way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite way which is within the intersection or so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. According to the law, drivers aren’t required to make a left-turn to yield the right-of-way to all vehicles, only to those that are within the intersection or near enough to be a hazard.
Why Left-Hand Turn Accidents Are Deadly
More than half of the left turn car accidents that involved injuries and deaths happen near or at intersections. Here are the most common reasons why these accidents are so risky:
- When you’re trying to make a left turn, you are going across oncoming traffic which makes the risk of a crash higher (from the vehicles that come from the opposite direction).
- The risk of rear-end accidents is also high. When you stop to make a left turn, you risk being hit from the back, by drivers who are in their lanes.
- When making a left turn, many drivers try to “beat” the other driver, which is a huge risk of collision.
- The oncoming traffic is going at a high speed than the vehicle that is trying to make a left turn. This is one of the risks of crashes, which result in severe injuries and even the death of the occupants of the vehicle.
To be sure that you’ll end up collecting a settlement for your damages and injuries, hire a car accident attorney. They would do the work while you are focused on your healing. Get legal help from our lawyers at Cellino Law; we are here for you.