Articles Posted in Left Turn Accidents

Left turns are one of the most dangerous driving maneuvers for drivers, especially novice drivers, older adults, and motorcyclists. Even the most careful drivers can find themselves in a precarious situation when they are making a left turn. Maryland left-turn accidents, especially those occurring during a yellow light can have disastrous consequences to drivers, passengers, and bystanders. Those who suffered injuries involving a negligent driver may be able to recover compensation against the at-fault parties. Presenting an iron-clad case for recovery is especially important in Maryland because of the state’s strict contributory negligence statute

According to Maryland’s Traffic Code, yellow lights are a warning to notify drivers that they should slow down because the light is about to change to red. However, many people read this signal as a notice to quickly make the light before it turns red. While accidents involving yellow lights may stem from various situations, most of them involve one driver proceeding straight and another driver trying to make a left, before the light turns red.

The law imposes a duty on turning drivers to ensure that the roadway is safe to make the maneuver. As such, in most cases, the driving turning left will be liable for the accident. However, each case presents unique facts and circumstances, and an attorney can assist injury victims in presenting a compelling case for recovery.

After a Maryland accident, more than one party or cause may be responsible for the accident. While determining responsibility and apportioning fault is essential in any state, it is a determinative factor in Maryland. It is especially critical in Maryland because if a plaintiff is found to be responsible at all for the accident, they will not be able to recover at all for their losses. In addition to aiding oncoming drivers, an attorney can assist left-hand turner drivers in establishing that the other driver was at fault. As such, accident victims and their loved ones should make sure that they contact an attorney to develop and present a strong case.

Left-hand turn accidents usually occur when one driver making a left comes into contact with a driver proceeding straight. Even though left-hand turn accidents usually stem from the negligence of the left-hand driver, in some cases, the other driver may be liable. This often occurs if the oncoming driver ran a red light or broke another traffic law. However, the first step in any liability inquiry is whether the left-hand turner followed Maryland’s traffic rules. The rule is straightforward: motorists making a left-hand turn only have the right of way when they have a green arrow at an intersection. Absent an arrow; the left-hand turner must always yield to traffic.

Left-hand turns are dangerous maneuvers because they require the turning driver to pay attention to several areas at once. The driver must be aware of oncoming traffic and pedestrians coming from multiple directions. Most of these accidents occur because of sudden stops, a driver’s inability to gauge speed, blind turns, and busy intersections. Further, heavy traffic, pedestrians, nighttime driving, and geographic considerations may impact the likelihood of an accident. The impact can have catastrophic consequences on anyone in the vicinity of the accident.

Although most people do their best to follow traffic rules, every driver has had to yield their right-of-way to prevent an accident from taking place. Sometimes, however, drivers fail to yield their right-of-way entirely, which could cause devastating consequences for all parties involved. In Maryland and across the United States generally, failure-to-yield car collisions remain common—and can often become tricky cases to pursue because both parties will argue that they had the right-of-way.

According to a recent news report, a motorcyclist was hit by a car driven by a motorist who failed to yield the right of way at a stop sign. Local authorities say that the car driver was attempting to make a turn when she failed to yield the right of way to the motorcyclist. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene, and the car driver’s passenger was transported to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries. State police say that the circumstances surrounding the crash remain under investigation.

In Maryland, the state Motor Vehicle Administration has explicit rules on when drivers should yield the right-of-way and how to share the road with other motorists and pedestrians. According to the Maryland Driver’s Manual provided by the state agency, no driver should automatically assume that they have the right-of-way, and drivers are responsible for controlling their own vehicles to avoid crashes whenever possible in different roadway layouts and contexts.

If you’ve spent much time on a motorcycle, you know that one of the most dangerous traffic situations for riders involves left-hand turns. While there is no data indicating the number of Maryland motorcycle accidents that involve left turns, the number is significant. While riders injured in a motorcycle collision are entitled to bring a personal injury claim for damages after an accident, there are often complicated issues presented by left-turn motorcycle accidents.

Why Are Left-Hand Turns So Dangerous?

Left-hand turns are dangerous for all drivers, but especially motorcyclists. Not only that, but these turns present a hazard both when a motorcycle is making the left turn as well as when they are traveling straight through an intersection approaching another vehicle that is making a left.

When a motorist makes a left turn at an intersection, they must yield the right-of-way to the oncoming vehicle. This much is common knowledge. However, both riders and drivers of cars and trucks tend to get confused once the light turns yellow. For the motorist in the intersection waiting to make a left turn, there is certainly a sense of urgency to complete the turn and get out of the intersection. However, until the light turns red, the left-turning motorist must continue to yield to any vehicles traveling straight.

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