Safe turning while driving is a basic skill taught to every new driver. Yet improper turning is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents. It can happen at an intersection, a driveway, or in a parking lot.
Even if a driver has had a license for decades, it is a good idea to review the rules and methods for proper turning.
The most important steps to take are:
- Slow down
- Put the turn signal on
- Ensure for yourself that it is safe to turn
A driver should never proceed with a turn because another person or driver tells them that they should. Often, they are just being polite. But pulling out into traffic when another motorist waves you on could lead to deadly consequences.
Left vs. Right Turns
Making left turns is easier than right, because only one lane of traffic has to be crossed. The left side mirror should be checked for traffic while decelerating, and again before turning. Once the road is clear, the turn can be made.
A right turn requires checking the mirrors left, right, and then right again for traffic. Both lanes must be clear before turning.
Stop Signs, Yield Signs, and Side Roads
A stop sign means that a vehicle must come to a full standstill. Once the driver does this, they should check both ways before turning.
Turning on a side road also requires waiting for a safe path. If there are several lanes, using the turn signal to change lanes if necessary, comes first. Some roads have center filter lanes, which are marked sections of road where vehicles wait until a light changes, or until it is safe to turn.
It is also important to check for foot and bicycle traffic before making the turn.
Fine Tuning Those Turning Skills
Signaling 100 feet before turns on residential and city streets, and 200 feet on highways and rural roads are rules that should be followed by all drivers.
For sharp turns, using hand-over-hand turning is the safest, since it keeps both hands on the steering wheel. At the turn’s halfway point, it is appropriate to accelerate gently until the vehicle straightens out.
Anyone who has stopped at a four-way intersection has probably questioned right-of-way rules. Being aware of these will go a long way towards accident prevention.
At an intersection, an approaching driver must yield to any vehicles that are already at the intersection. In cases where two vehicles arrive simultaneously, the driver turning left yields to the right side, and those that are going right or straight.
When turning left, the driver must yield to oncoming vehicles close enough to be a hazard, and must make way for pedestrians and bicyclists. Motorists must also yield right-of-way to drivers that are already in traffic circles (or roundabouts), emergency vehicles, and take care when exiting from parking lots.
One common mistake is when a driver enters an intersection with too many vehicles waiting in the turn lane. This leads to vehicles blocking intersections, which makes them a target for accidents.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Handle All Types of Car Accident Cases
Even the most experienced drivers can become involved in crashes. Contact a Delaware car accident lawyer at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC today. We will fight for your rights. You can reach us at 302-888-1221 or contact us online for a free case consultation. We have offices to serve clients in Philadelphia, South Jersey, and Wilmington, Delaware.