Why Are Left Turns So Dangerous?

While car accidents can occur anywhere, from the grocery store parking lot to the interstate, one common places where car accidents occur is during left turns. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 70% of all intersection-related crashes involve a left turn. In comparison, right turns only account for 2.2% of all intersection-related accidents. What makes left-turns so dangerous, and what can you do to keep yourself safe?

Poor Visibility

Though hundreds of drivers make left turns every day, they have a few unique characteristics that make them particularly dangerous. One big factor is visibility. When a driver is getting ready to turn , their view of oncoming traffic might be obstructed. This can lead to drivers pulling into an intersection without properly assessing the oncoming traffic, or not being able to see an oncoming vehicle in their path. When a driver makes a premature turn into oncoming traffic due to decreased visibility, it can lead to a type of accident called a “t-bone collision,” which is one of the deadliest types of collisions.

Vehicle Speed

Along with decreased visibility, another danger is vehicle speed. Making a left turn requires gauging the speed of any oncoming traffic, and a driver could cause a serious accident by misjudging how quickly another vehicle is moving. Even for experienced drivers, it can difficult to judge the speed of another driver, and when coupled with poor visibility, this adds to the danger of turning left.

Decreased visibility and issues with judging vehicle speed can make left turns particularly dangerous. When a driver is intoxicated, speeding, or texting, this can make them even more deadly. To protect yourself while making a left turn, follow these tips:

Left Turn Tips

  • Always use your turn signal
  • Before attempting to make a turn, double-check to make sure that the intersection is clear
  • Always pay attention to your surroundings, including oncoming traffic or any other obstructions
  • Stay alert at all times
  • Position your vehicle in the proper lane for turning
  • If you’re not comfortable with making a left turn, consider going to the next intersection or finding a detour that does not involve a left turn

Do you have any tips for safely making a left turn?


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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