Posted on November 17th, 2015 by Zane Cagle
If you’ve lived other places, then you may not be accustomed to so many people doing U-turns. Sometimes, I really surprised when driving around downtown St. Louis that other cars actually stop or slow down and flip a U-Turn right in the middle of a busy street and traffic. So, is this a St. Louis specific driving behavior?
While living in other parts of the country, I have rarely seen U-turns done quite as frequently as I see them in the St. Louis area. Even living in a rural area, it was far more common for someone to pull into a side road or drive way to turn around rather than doing a U-turn.
Because much of our practice involves car crashes, U-turns seem specifically dangerous.
Are U-Turns Legal?
Some states and even cities within states have specific laws on U-turns. Generally, it is legal to complete a U-turn unless there is a sign specifically prohibiting such action. However, Missouri specifically has a law which prohibits U-turns in cases where such a maneuver would be unsafe, particularly near hills or curves where oncoming traffic would not be able to see a slow-moving vehicle.
One thing you must remember if you are making a U-turn and end up in a car crash, you will likely be given a citation. If someone hits you while you are making a U-turn, then the Missouri law is pretty clear. If it were safe to make the U-turn, you would not have gotten hit! In addition to a citation for making a U-turn, you may be found liable for the crash including property damage and personal damages due to injuries.
So, why do people stop in the middle of downtown traffic and allow a driver in front of them to do a U-turn? While I haven’t conducted a poll, I imagine the major reason for U-turns is impatience and efficiency of time
Motor Vehicle Crashes
In general, you should avoid making U-turns. Without a doubt, you should avoid making U-turns in ANY kind of traffic and should carefully consider the area before making such a turn.
Obviously, utilizing the U-turn in busy traffic does not fit in with the Missouri law regarding U-turns. If there are other cars driving toward you or following you, then it is not advisable to do a U-turn. Again, from a legal perspective, if you are involved in a car crash resulting from one of the driver’s completing a U-turn, the fault can easily fall on the driver making the turn.
If you are injured in a motor vehicle crash, you will need an expert car accident attorney. At The Cagle Law Firm, we represent seriously injured victims of motor vehicle crashes. Consultations are always free.
Call (314) 276-1681 for a free consultation.