Assessing Fault for a Crash Involving a Vehicle Making a U-Turn
Sometimes you must make a U-turn to get where you are going. Other times, you missed a turn and need to head back the way you came.
The problem is that this is a dangerous maneuver. You can consider this a left turn, which you may know is much more dangerous than a right turn. Unfortunately, there is often a lot of confusion about who has the right of way in these situations, and it can lead to crashes and other drivers getting angry as they try to turn left while waiting for a U-turning driver to get out of the way.
Below, our experienced attorneys discuss fault for a crash involving a vehicle making a U-turn. If you were injured in a crash in Minnesota, give us a call today to discuss how we may be able to help. We have helped numerous crash victims secure compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. An initial consultation is 100 percent free.
What Does State Law Say About U-Turns?
According to Minnesota Statute 169.19 Subd. 2., you are prohibited from making a U-turn on a curve or crest of a grade if approaching vehicles cannot see you from a distance of 1,000 feet. You are also prohibited from making a U-turn if you cannot do so safely and without interfering with traffic.
It is also illegal to make a U-turn when a sign says you are prohibited from making a U-turn. Even though you have a green arrow, you are required to yield to the drivers who are turning right onto the road where you are making a U-turn. Unfortunately, drivers either do not know this or do not care. U-turning drivers often violate the right of way of right-turning drivers – they may do this because the drivers behind them are honking because they are waiting for the U-turning driver to get out of the way.
What Does This Mean for Assessing Fault?
When a Bloomington car accident lawyer reviews a crash involving a turn, he or she is going to try to determine who may have had the right of way. The driver who violated the right of way is likely to be found at fault for the crash.
Keep in mind that drivers turning left may also have the right of way versus a U Turning driver because they are often turning because they have a green arrow. Even if they are turning right on a red light, they probably have the right of way compared to a U turning car. If you want to make a U-turn and are concerned about making the drivers behind you angry, pull up and a little around the median to give them space to get around you. It should be possible to do this without getting in the way of left-turning drivers.
Assessing fault may be complicated if the driver who wants to turn right waves you ahead, but then your two vehicles crash anyway. Does this gesture give you the right of way as the driver making a U-turn? Can you still be found partially or fully at fault for the crash?
Impatience is often a factor in car crashes. It is important to wait to make a turn to be sure you have enough time and space to do so. If you are unsure about whether you have enough time, it is probably better to wait for more traffic to clear. You should not assume right-turning drivers will slow down or yield. They may not even be looking for you, as they assume they do not need to stop or yield because they have the right of way.
If possible, avoid making a U-turn, as it can be a dangerous traffic maneuver.
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