If you’re involved in an auto-pedestrian accident in California where the mishap occurred because of a left turn, the driver making the turn is almost always at fault. Like other types of accidents, you’ll find exceptions to that rule depending on the overall circumstances.
Arrows and signs can negate fault
Two situations can absolve you from guilt if a crash occurs while making a left turn. These are green arrows indicating that you have a right to turn or a dedicated left-turn lane that gives drivers in that lane the right of way in an intersection. However, even with these measures in place, auto-pedestrian accidents can occur. Drivers should take steps to minimize these mishaps even if they have the right of way to prevent the filing of injury lawsuits.
Avoiding left-turn accidents
Good, defensive driving practices can minimize your chances of being involved in a left-turn accident involving pedestrians or vehicles. Among the things you can do are:
• Check blind spots as it’s easy to miss obstacles in heavy traffic.
• Always look for pedestrians or bicyclists as you could be at fault if you hit either, even if you have a green arrow or are in a designated lane.
• Become familiar with your vehicle’s turn radius.
What if you are involved in a left-turn accident?
As with any type of traffic mishap, you should attempt to get your vehicle out of the lane of traffic and see if anyone is injured. Note that if you hit a pedestrian or bicyclist, you could end up being liable for personal injury.
The best thing you can do in these circumstances is to try to document the accident to mitigate any repercussions. Make sure to call the police and your insurance company to properly report the incident.