Left-hand turns are a common occurrence in Salt Lake City, but they can also be dangerous. It might seem like a simple driving task, but statistics and accident reports beg to differ. With the bustling streets of our city, left-hand turns have, unfortunately, become a significant source of collisions and injuries. This article dives deep into understanding this issue and the importance of seeking the right legal representation when involved in such incidents.
Why Are Left-Hand Turns So Risky?
Left-hand turns involve crossing oncoming traffic, making it inherently more dangerous than right turns. A slight miscalculation, distraction, or lapse in judgment can result in a catastrophic collision. In Salt Lake City, the combination of densely populated roads, fluctuating weather conditions, and occasional unmarked intersections exacerbate the risk.
In a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it was revealed that 22% of all car accidents involve left turns, as opposed to a meager 1.2% from right turns. With Salt Lake City being a hub of activity, it is crucial for drivers to exercise caution and be aware of the lurking dangers.
There are a number of factors that can contribute to left-hand turn accidents, including:
- Driver error: The most common cause of left-hand turn accidents is driver error. This can include failing to yield the right of way, making a turn without using a turn signal, or turning too wide.
- Improper lane usage: Drivers who make left turns from the wrong lane are also at a higher risk of being involved in an accident.
- Visibility: Left-hand turns can be dangerous in areas with poor visibility, such as when there are large trucks or buses parked on the side of the road.
- Speeding: Speeding is another factor that can contribute to left-hand turn accidents. Drivers who are speeding are less likely to be able to stop in time to avoid a collision.
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving is a major problem in Salt Lake City, and it can also lead to left-hand turn accidents. Drivers who are texting, talking on the phone, or otherwise distracted are not paying attention to the road and may not see oncoming traffic.
Left-hand turn accidents can have serious consequences, including:
- Injuries: Left-hand turn accidents can result in serious injuries, such as head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and broken bones.
- Damage to property: Left-hand turn accidents can also cause significant damage to property, such as cars, buildings, and fences.
- Financial loss: Left-hand turn accidents can lead to financial loss, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
Avoiding Left-Hand Turn Accidents
There are a number of things you can do to avoid left-hand turn accidents, including:
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Use your turn signal
- Turn from the correct lane
- Check your blind spots
- Slow down
- Avoid distractions
Determining Fault and Getting the Right Help
In many cases, the driver making the left-hand turn is held at fault. The premise is that the turning driver must yield to oncoming traffic. However, specific situations can complicate this, such as when the oncoming vehicle is speeding or if traffic signals are malfunctioning.
If you are involved in a left-hand turn accident or any vehicle accident for that matter, taking the right steps is essential to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights. Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do:
- Step 1. Check for Injuries: Immediately after the crash, check if you or any passengers in your vehicle are injured. If anyone is hurt, even slightly, call 911 immediately. Some injuries may not show symptoms right away but can be serious.
- Step 2. Move to a Safe Location: If your car is causing a hazard or is in a risky location, and it’s safe to do so, move it to the side of the road. Otherwise, leave it where it is and get yourself to safety.
- Step 3. Call the Police: Even if the accident seems minor, it’s essential to have an official police report. This can be crucial for insurance purposes and potential legal action.
- Step 4. Document the Scene: Take photos of the accident scene, damages to your vehicle, damages to the other vehicle, and any injuries sustained. If there are skid marks, damaged barriers, or any other relevant details, photograph them as well.
- Step 5. Exchange Information: Swap contact and insurance information with the other driver.
- Step 6. Look for Witnesses: If there are any witnesses, gather their contact information. They can be helpful later if there are discrepancies about what happened.
- Step 7. Do Not Admit Fault: Even if you believe you were at fault, avoid admitting it at the scene. Let the investigators determine who was responsible. Admitting fault can impact your insurance claim and any potential legal cases.
- Step 8. Seek Medical Attention: Even if you feel fine, it’s a good idea to see a doctor after an accident. Some injuries, like whiplash or concussions, might not show symptoms immediately.
- Step 9. Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company: Inform your insurer about the accident as soon as possible. They can guide you on the next steps and how to file a claim if needed.
- Step 10. Consult an Accident Attorney: Before making any settlements, it is beneficial to consult with a car accident attorney in Salt Lake City to understand your rights and the best course of action. They will advise on any potential compensation, especially if you suffered injuries.
- Step 11. Keep Track of Medical Records and Costs: Document all medical treatments, therapy, medications, and other related expenses. This can be vital for insurance claims and potential legal actions.
- Step 12. Stay Calm and Cooperative: Throughout the process, remain calm. Engaging in arguments or confrontations can escalate the situation and might work against you later.
Being proactive and following these steps can help ensure your safety and protect your legal rights after a left-hand turn accident. Always prioritize health and safety above everything else.
Making Safe Turns and Seeking Justice
While drivers must exercise caution, particularly during left-hand turns, accidents do happen. When they do, it is vital to be equipped with the knowledge and legal backup to address the situation aptly.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a left-hand turn accident in Salt Lake City, remember you have rights. By availing the services of the reputable firm, Craig Swapp & Associates, you ensure that your case is in capable hands. Whether you need a car accident lawyer or a general injury attorney, the right legal team can make all the difference.
Act now. Seek justice. Secure the legal representation you deserve. Call us today.