Driving in New York City isn’t easy. There’s so much traffic, and there are times when it can be really difficult to find a parking space. Drivers often have to change direction to get where they want to go, and sometimes they make hasty decisions. A properly executed U-turn is handy maneuver, but it can be dangerous when performed suddenly or in an illegal manner.
Why Are U-turns Dangerous?
A U-turn can be risky action in a lot of ways, and it must always be performed with care. The biggest reason why a U-turn may result in an accident is because they are often done recklessly by a driver who doesn’t take the time to contemplate their actions. This is commonly the case when the driver suddenly realizes they have missed their turn, or when their destination is on the other side of the road. In these situations, it’s essential to slow down your thinking, collect yourself, and wait for a safe opportunity to turn around.
Many U-turn accidents occur because drivers underestimate the speed of opposing traffic or they fail to notice a driver turning onto the street where they are headed. Some drivers tend to slow down after they make a U-turn, which can result in a collision.
How to Make a Safe U-turn in New York City
You are allowed to make a U-turn from a left turn lane unless you are in an area where it is specifically prohibited. Make sure the light or arrow is green and there is no opposing traffic. You will also want to watch out for bicycles who may be among the opposing traffic and pedestrians who may be using the crosswalk.
If there are two left-hand turn lanes at an intersection, you can only make a U-turn from the innermost lane that’s closest to the divider. It’s essential to determine if you have enough room to make a U-turn before you begin making the maneuver. This depends on width of the road and your vehicle’s turning radius.
When Is a U-turn Prohibited in New York?
U-turns are only permitted when the conditions are safe and the driver has made sure that there won’t be any vehicles or pedestrians in their path. That means the driver must check for others in all directions before they begin their U-turn.
In New York, U-turns are prohibited in the following places:
- School Zones
- Expressways with limited access
- New York City business districts
- Anywhere that road signs indicate they are not allowed
Common Injuries Caused by U-turn Accidents
U-turn accident can result in serious injuries, especially when they involve pedestrians. Passenger-side vehicle occupants are particularly vulnerable when the car making a U-turn is struck by a vehicle traveling in the other direction. Common injuries caused by U-turn accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Loss of limb
- Head and brain injuries (TBI)
- Back and spine injuries
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Wrongful death
Have You Been Injured by a Careless Driver in NYC?
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an automobile accident, your personal injury lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation. You have the right to seek compensation if your injuries are the result of another person’s negligence. This may include the cost of your medical care, rehabilitation, lost wages, and other expenses.
Let the compassionate NYC car accident attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP take care of your legal issues while you get your life back in order. Call (212) 986-7353 to learn more today.