U-Turns – Only Legal if Safe to Do So
Posted on November 17th, 2017 by Zane Cagle
U-Turns Are Handy But Can Be Dangerous
A U-turn refers to performing a 180′ rotation to reverse the direction of travel. While a U-turn may seem time-efficient at times, you have to carefully evaluate before making this turn.
Just this morning, I watched two illegal U-turns being made. There were no signs banning U-turns, but in both situations, motor vehicle collision almost resulted. Definitively, when cars are screeching and honking to avoid hitting you while you are making a U-turn, the turn is illegal because it is not safe to do so.
And, if it is not safe to do so, it is considered an illegal U-turn.
When It is Okay to Make a Legal U-turn………
- There is no sign prohibiting it
- There is a green left turn arrow or green light
- You are in the far left lane
- There is a U-turn sign
- You are going across a double yellow line (but, only if it is safe to do so)
U-Turns Become Illegal if You Cause a Traffic Hazard by Making the 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 a 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.” In short, you can only make a U-turn when it is safe to do so. Again, if someone hits you while you are in the course of making a U-turn, it becomes an illegal turn because you could not safely do so.
Common Sense That May Not Be So Common
Just because U-turns are legal in many area of St. Louis, it does not mean it is your “right” to make a U-turn in traffic. Yes, I know that are convenient and I won’t lie, I make a U-turn every now and again. However, you have to remember that when you make a U-turn, you are responsible is something goes awry. I’ve had people call me and explain that they were making a U-turn and the other car just appeared and struck them. I can be a pretty gullible guy, but this scenario is doubtful. One, if a car just “appeared”, then either it was going excessive speeds such as the speed of light or two, you may not have been paying attention. Either way, once you are struck while making a U-turn, it will be next to impossible to convince any insurance company that you are not at fault.
So, you have to use U-turns very conservatively. You must clearly scan what kind of traffic is around you–far behind and ahead. Also, making U-turns at intersections with traffic can often go badly. The real question is, “Would it be safer for me just to drive another block?”
If You Are Injured in a Motor Vehicle Incident
If you are injured in a motor vehicle collision, you will most likely need an expert car crash attorney. Making a claim after a serious injury or the loss of a loved one (wrongful death) can get complicated. After a life-changing event, you are overwhelmed with restoring some normalcy to your life. Negotiating with insurance companies and getting fair compensation is difficult to do without legal representation.
Our attorneys represent those seriously injured. Consultations are always free and confidential.
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