There are dozens of driving laws that people need to follow to avoid tickets or collisions, and the operation of a motor vehicle requires that motorists track a lot of information simultaneously. They need to be aware of their fuel levels and current speed, as well as road conditions and the behavior of nearby vehicles and traffic.
It can be difficult for the average driver to manage all of that information at once. As a result, those who hope to avoid serious collisions may need to adjust their driving practices to reflect the top causes of major collisions. One maneuver, in particular, plays an outsized role in the risk people have for a collision, especially at intersections.
Left-hand turns are a serious safety risk
When researchers looked at the circumstances involved in collisions at intersections, one factor stood out above all the others. They found that roughly 61% of the collisions that occur at intersections in the United States involve at least one vehicle attempting to perform a left-hand turn.
The probability of a crash is much higher in a left-hand turn because they expose someone to all of having planes of traffic and take more time than right-hand turns in many cases. The risk is so high that many delivery companies specifically plan their routes so that their drivers can avoid left-hand turns. Some municipalities have started replacing intersections with roundabouts so that people won’t turn left at intersections that have a high crash rate.
How can this information protect someone in traffic?
When people know about and avoid the most dangerous traffic maneuvers, they can minimize their personal risk of a collision. Of course, it is necessarily practical for the average person to forego turning left whenever they drive. Still, people can minimize their left-hand turns and avoid completing them during times of heavy traffic or at particularly busy intersections.
Learning more about the common causes of motor vehicle collisions can help those who want to improve their personal traffic safety. This knowledge can also be helpful in the aftermath of a crash as a victim and a legal professional work together to determine exactly what happened.