Many auto accidents occur when a driver makes a left-hand turn, particularly at an intersection, and must cross oncoming traffic to do so. These drivers must be aware not only of all surrounding vehicles, but also bicyclists and pedestrians, especially those who have the right-of-way. One study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that left-hand turns made up the largest category of auto accidents at about 22%, and over 96% of those left-turn accidents resulted from driver error, which can be further divided into “decision error” and recognition error.” If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident due to another driver’s negligence, we at Mike Agruss Law are here for you every step of the way to ensure that your rights are protected and you are fully compensated for your injuries and losses.
In the NHTSA study, about 44% of the “recognition errors” in the accidents studied involved “inadequate surveillance,” meaning the driver did not fully check for other vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians before crossing into their path, while the “decision errors” consisted primarily of illegal maneuvers, turning despite obstructed visibility, or misjudging the actions of another driver, bicyclist, or pedestrian. Here is Illinois state law as it applies to left-hand turns:
(625 ILCS 5/11-902) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-902)
Sec. 11-902. Vehicle turning left.
The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard, but said driver, having so yielded may proceed at such time as a safe interval occurs.
(Source: P.A. 76-1586.)
Bicyclists are particularly prone to being victims of left-turn auto accidents, and drivers must always be on the lookout for bicyclists and pedestrians when making these turns, especially at intersections and in densely-populated areas. Here is the Chicago city municipal code as it applies to motorists and bicyclists:
(e) Right-of-way to a bicycle on left turn. The driver of a vehicle within an intersection intending to turn to the left shall yield the right-of-way to a bicycle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.
(f) Turning right in front of a bicycle. When a motor vehicle and a bicycle are traveling in the same direction on any highway, street, or road, the operator of the motor vehicle overtaking such bicycle traveling on the right side of the roadway shall not turn to the right in front of the bicycle at that intersection or at any alley or driveway until such vehicle has overtaken and is safely clear of the bicycle.
(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634; Amend Coun. J. 3-12-08, p. 22781, § 1).
Due to the general rule that drivers attempting to make a left turn must yield to oncoming traffic, the turning driver is often legally liable when an accident occurs. However, this is not always the case, as there are some situations in which someone other than the turning driver was at-fault. The assistance of an attorney is essential to ensure that the at-fault party is properly identified and held accountable for the accident and you can receive full compensation.
We at Mike Agruss Law are proud to serve our fellow citizens in personal injury cases, including when you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, and we are fully committed to protecting your rights and ensuring that the other party is held legally accountable when negligence occurs. We will fight until the very end to ensure that you are fully compensated for all injuries and losses resulting from the accident, including medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering, and you won’t owe us a dime for our services.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident due to another’s negligence, you need an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact Mike Agruss Law today for a free consultation. We are a Chicago-based personal injury law firm, and helping our clients is about counseling, advocating, and ultimately solving problems. With years of experience successfully representing the people and not the powerful, we will file your claim and take care of the insurance company, medical bills, property damage, and lost income. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you. Lastly, our personal injury lawyers are not paid attorney fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.