Every action you take in traffic involves some degree of risk. Crossing paths with other vehicles could possibly result in a collision, no matter where it happens.
Given that intersections have people moving in multiple directions while approaching the same space, they are the sites of many serious car crashes. Different driving behaviors lead to different amounts of personal crash risk at intersections.
One maneuver, in particular, is responsible for a significant number of collisions at intersections across the United States.
Left-hand turns have more risk than many other maneuvers
Drivers turning left often get hit by oncoming traffic. Sometimes they hit a vehicle as they turn. Turning left is one of the most dangerous things that you can do when traffic is heavy. A left-hand turn requires more time to complete and leaves a driver exposed in an intersection for longer than a right-hand turn or proceeding straight through the intersection.
In an analysis of more than 5.8 million crashes, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 480,000 or more than 8.25% are the result of left-hand turns at intersections. They also found that failure to adequately check one’s surroundings and other issues while observing traffic were the leading causes of all intersection crashes.
While you can’t simply avoid turning left indefinitely, you can at least make informed decisions about when you turn left, what street you choose to turn left at and how carefully you monitor your surroundings when turning left.
Identifying high-risk behaviors can help you reduce your chances of experiencing or at least causing a motor vehicle crash.