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Who is At Fault in Left-Hand Turn Accidents?

Fault in left-hand turn accidents

Left-turn auto accidents are among the most common types of car crashes. Left turns are considered dangerous because the motorist is cutting across traffic that is heading in a different direction. If a motorist isn’t careful, they can end up colliding with an oncoming vehicle and can sustain life-changing injuries. Determining liability in a left-turn accident can be complex. Because of this, you must contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible to help you prove liability and recover compensation for your accident-related damages.

Who Has the Right of Way During Left-Turn Collisions? 

The driver that is making the left-hand turn doesn't have the right of way, the oncoming driver does. A driver who is attempting to make a left turn must yield to oncoming traffic. When a driver is making a U-turn, they’re also required to yield to motorists who are turning right.

What Can Make the Oncoming Driver Liable for a Left-Hand Turn Collision? 

In some instances, the oncoming driver can be held partially at fault for the accident. While oncoming motorists have the right of way, they’re required to follow traffic laws. For example, an oncoming vehicle can be held partially at fault for a left-hand turn accident if they:

  • Are distracted
  • Speed
  • Drive under the influence
  • Run a red light or stop sign

If you were involved in an auto accident and were the left-turn driver, you may still be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and other damages if you believe the oncoming driver caused the collision. To prove liability, you’ll need the help of an experienced car accident lawyer. An attorney will know how to gather evidence that can help your case and prove the oncoming motorist was negligent.

Common Causes of Left-Turn Auto Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one in five accidents involves a vehicle that makes a left-hand turn into traffic. A left-turn collision may not be as straightforward as it seems. There are many situations in which a dangerous driver can cause a serious accident.

Common causes of left turn accidents include:

Failure to Signal

When a driver fails to signal for a turn 100 feet before attempting to turn they’re violating the law and can cause a serious accident because other motorists don’t realize they are about to turn.


Some motorists will make a turn too quickly or they will drive too fast for intense road conditions. In these types of situations, other motorists are at a high risk of hitting the speeding driver or braking suddenly, which can cause a rear-end accident.

Failing to Look Both Ways

A left-hand turn accident can occur because the motorist who is turning fails to look both ways or another motorist fails to look before turning into the other driver’s path.

Rolling Past a Stop Line

A car is required to stop at the stop line before they proceed. However, a motorist may roll past the stop line, putting themself in the path of oncoming vehicles.

Trying to Beat Oncoming Traffic

Rushing through an intersection or rushing a turn is one of the most common causes of a left-hand turn collision.

Cutting the Corner

When a motorist cuts the corner, they make a sharp turn, causing them to cross into another driver’s lane.

Contact Us Today!

If you were involved in a left-hand turn accident that was caused by a negligent driver, contact the car accident lawyers at MVP Accident Attorneys today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Our car accident attorneys have extensive experience handling complex auto accident claims and know how to build a strong case that can help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and more.


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Brett Sachs

Brett S. Sachs graduated from Michigan State University College of Law with Cum Laude Honors. While attending Michigan State, Brett was awarded for his service in the Michigan State University College of Law Civil Rights Clinic, where he represented prisoners of the Michigan Department of Corrections from injustices brought upon them. Learn more.

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