Look at the routes you take each day by car, motorcycle, bicycle, or something else. You likely make some left turns and some rights. Research suggests that reducing the number of left turns you make could improve safety for yourself and others.
Here is why: 61% of crashes at intersections involve someone making a left turn.
Why are left turns so dangerous?
To turn left, you must cross the path of traffic coming the other way. What happens next depends on you and those whose lane you cross co-ordinating. If one of you misjudges the situation, a crash is almost inevitable.
Some people suggest that road authorities should reduce the number of left turns people make by forcing them to take a slightly longer route with more right turns. As right turns are safer, that should reduce accidents. As left turns typically involve a long wait, the overall time taken probably would not be much different.
What can road users do to make left turns safer?
You can choose to adjust your journey to use fewer left turns. If you still consider it more convenient to use them, you should:
- Double-check behind you to your left before turning left: Doing so allows you to ensure no one has crept up your inside. Drivers could reduce the number of cyclists or motorcyclists they knock off by doing so.
- Play safe when checking for traffic whose lane you are crossing: Drivers often turn across a motorcyclist because they underestimate the bike’s approach speed.
If someone injures you when making a left turn, seek legal help to investigate what went wrong and get the compensation you need.