U-Turns in St. Louis – Very Common, But are They Legal?
Posted on September 29th, 2016 by Zane Cagle
St. Louis Drivers Are All-Too-Familiar with the U-Turn
If you’ve driven in St. Louis very long, you’ve witnessed U-turns or you make U-turns. However, have you ever questioned whether or not they are “legal”?
I’m amazed at the number of U-turns in the midst of heavy traffic downtown. Maybe you’ve witnessed the scenario after a baseball game where someone hangs a U-y in gridlock and assumes all other traffic will stop. I’m not that confident in other people probably because the bulk of my law practice deals with motor vehicle crash injuries and causes.
Actual Missouri Law on Making a U-Turn
“It shall be unlawful for the driver of any vehicle to turn such vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction at any intersection controlled by a traffic signal or police officer; nor shall such turn be made at any place unless the movement can be made in safety and without interfering with other traffic” (MO Revised Statute 304.341.1)
The language of the law continues to express that utilizing a U-turn in any situation causing a traffic hazard makes it an illegal turn. Thus, pretty easy to interpret…………..if you are involved in a collision while you are making a U-turn, you are more than likely going to be held responsible for that crash. If you made the turn and it resulted in a collision, then the environment was not “safe” for you to actually make the U-turn.
St. Louis Ordinances Regarding Whipping a U-y–You May Be Surprised!
“The driver of any vehicle shall not turn vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction upon any street in the central traffic district, at any intersection controlled by a traffic-control signal or where posted” (STL Ordinance 1205.040) St. Louis does actually post “No U-Turns” at various intersections, specifically at intersections that have pedestrian traffic.
If you are downtown, you should NOT pull a U-turn in spite of what you have always believed!
As a rule, U-turns downtown St. Louis are illegal. Regarding U-turns elsewhere in the greater St. Louis area–be EXTRA safe and be absolutely certain there are no other vehicles or people anywhere near you, be sure it is not at a posted intersection and probably should not make a U-turn in front of an officer.
They are actually illegal at intersections across the city, but especially illegal in downtown St. Louis City. As a rule, avoid the U-turn even if you have St. Louis and you’ve always done them.
If You Have a Crash While Whipping a U-y, You May Have Problems
If you are injured or have property damage because another vehicle hit you while you were making a U-turn, you may have a liability issue. The logic is fairly simple–if you made the U-turn and hit another car or pedestrian, then logic would dictate that it was not a safe location and situation to make a U-turn.
If you were injured due to someone else making a U-turn, then you should contact a personal injury attorney right away.
People make U-turns for many reasons, but the most common is time. Making up time on the roadway or being impatient falls into being inattentive which is the most common reason for car crashes. Unfortunately, we see the serious injuries of car crashes every day and we understand the problems that one gets into if they try to go the insurance injury claim process on their own.
Contact a St Louis Car Accident Attorney from The Cagle Law Firm
Don’t go through the claim process alone, call a St Louis car accident attorney toll free 1.800.685.3302 or locally 314.276.1681.