According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the leading cause of a vehicle accident is a driver turning left at an intersection. These types of accidents are associated with increased risk of injury or death due to the crossing of oncoming traffic, which is typically traveling at a greater speed than the turning driver. However, determining who is at fault in a left turn collision can be difficult, and drivers need to know what to do if it occurs.
Who Has the Right of Way When Making a Left Turn?
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law §1141 states: “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection…shall yield the right of way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.” Additionally, § 1163 of the Traffic Laws of the City of New York emphasizes that no turns should be made at an intersection unless they “can be made with reasonable safety.”