Nobody wants to experience a major car crash, let alone be the one to blame for causing one. As you drive to the grocery store or follow the usual route as part of your daily commute, you probably expect to reach your destination without any major events.
However, you might perform the maneuver responsible for almost two-thirds of all of the crashes that occur at intersections several times a day. In other words, you could expose yourself to significant risk every time you are on the road.
What traffic maneuver is responsible for causing roughly 61% of all of the collisions that occur at intersections?
Left-hand turns are very dangerous
Given that people in the United States drive on the right side of the road, left-hand turns create major crash exposure. They take longer to complete than a right-hand turn and require that you have the absolute right of way.
If someone approaches the intersection without properly observing their surroundings, they could hit you from any of the streets nearby. The relationship between left turns and crash risk is so strong that package delivery companies will often send their drivers on very circuitous routes that double back down the same street to avoid having the driver perform any left turns if possible.
How can this information help you?
When you know what puts you at risk for a crash, you can make safer decisions in traffic. For example, you might forgo turning left directly into the store where you want to shop because of how heavy traffic is at that location. You might go just a bit farther down the road before turning around in a parking lot and then making a right turn into the store.
You might even change your route entirely so that you approach the business from a way that allows you to immediately make a right turn. Knowing what increases your overall crash risk can also help you better monitor your surroundings and make the right choices when you approach an intersection, whether you intend to turn or not.
Keeping yourself informed about the biggest statistical risks for motor vehicle collisions can help you avoid being the one to blame for a crash.