safety

When Right Turns Go Wrong

Right turns are usually a pretty safe bet…

They tend to be much easier to make and safer than left turns. Not to mention, when else do you get a pass to “go” at a red light?

Even still, there are some right turns that can go very wrong. The video above gives a pretty helpful demonstration of how turning right can sometimes wreck your day.

Scenario 1:

You are waiting to turn right onto a road and there is a car approaching with its blinker on.

The blinker makes you think you the vehicle is turning onto the road you are currently on, which makes you think it is safe for you to go ahead and turn. (This is particularly enticing when there is a line of cars behind said vehicle and it looks like this might be your only chance to turn for a while).

So you start to turn, and Bam! That car that was supposed to be turning runs right into you. Right turn gone wrong.

That vehicle may have been planning to turn into a driveway or business just past you, and you misinterpreted their blinker.

Or perhaps the driver realized at the last minute that the street you were on was NOT the street they needed to turn on.

In any case, you essentially pulled out in front of that person.

And you would most likely be considered the majority, if not all, at fault for this car wreck.

Scenario 2:

You are still waiting to turn right onto a street that has multiple lanes going in one direction. There is a car approaching in the far lane, but there is no traffic approaching in the lane you want to turn into.

So assuming that approaching car is going to stay in his lane, you start turning into the far right lane. And again…Wham! That vehicle that WAS in the far lane suddenly finds himself in your lane and hits you.

Perhaps the guy put on his blinker at the last minute, and seeing the lane clear started switching lanes at the exact moment you started pulling out.

Perhaps he saw a lot of brake lights ahead of him in his lane so he wanted to quickly switch to avoid having to stop.

Perhaps he realized suddenly that he needed to be in the right lane to turn into Chick-Fil-A. (Although this would never happen at the Chick-Fil-A near me because traffic is constantly stopped on the road in front of Chick-Fil-A while people turn in, so there is no such thing as “suddenly turning” into Chick-Fil-A around here…)

Whatever the case, you again essentially pulled out in front of someone. And again, you would likely be considered mostly, if not all, at-fault for this car wreck.

SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO:

Do not turn right onto a roadway until you are absolutely certain there is no one approaching. Even if a person approaching appears to be turning, wait until that person has actually turned before you begin turning. (Warning: if there are people behind you, they might start honking thinking you are missing all sorts of great opportunities to turn. But they can take that risk when it’s their turn if they want.)

And if the approaching traffic seems to be in the far lane, not the lane you want to turn into, wait until that traffic has also passed before turning. They have the right to change lanes if it appears to be clear, and too often it happens at the exact moment someone attempts to turn onto the roadway.

You might feel like you are wasting time waiting for the coast to be completely clear, but it is a lot better to waste a few seconds than waste hours (which can turn into days, weeks, months, etc.) if you get into a car wreck.

OTHER HELPFUL POSTS:

Why You Shouldn’t Wave on Other Drivers

Defensive Driving to Avoid Accidents

Stopping on the Shoulder of a Roadway: DANGER!

11 Things to Do If You Are in a Car Wreck