What Makes a Left Turn Across Traffic Dangerous?

February 6, 2023

what makes a left turn across traffic dangerous

What Makes a Left Turn Across Traffic Dangerous

Intersections are dangerous places where cars must cross paths. Over 40 percent of all crashes occur at intersections, and the majority of those accidents involve collisions between vehicles turning right or left.

Traffic signals make these intersections safer by letting drivers know when they can move and giving them instructions on when to stop. However, they aren’t enough — a left turn can still cause serious and even fatal accidents.

The main reason for the increased risk is that a left turn is often the first time a vehicle has to cross oncoming traffic at an intersection. Moreover, drivers are more likely to be distracted when making a left turn than when turning right.

Accidents involving left-hand turns are a common cause of injuries and deaths. Specifically, these crashes are three times more likely to involve pedestrians and motorcycles than right-hand turns.

Despite the dangers of left-hand turns, some cities already have restrictions in place that limit them. According to new research, though, eliminating all left turns may not be the best way to improve safety on streets.


Traffic Dave is on a mission to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.
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