Motor vehicle collisions occur because of weather, improper vehicle maintenance and also bad driving decisions. Certain kinds of maneuvers at the wheel have a stronger correlation with crash risks than others.
When you identify these dangerous or high-risk maneuvers, you will be in a better position to avoid them and thereby minimize your risk of a collision. There is one specific maneuver that you may perform several times a day that likely increases your chance of a motor vehicle collision.
Before you make a left-hand turn on a major road, you may want to learn more about the risks involved.
Left-hand turns cause a significant number of crashes
The federal government tracks collision statistics and analyzes crash information to determine what really causes modern wrecks. In over 22% of the cases analyzed, a left-hand turn came immediately before a crash. That is many times higher than the percentage of collisions that occur after a right-hand turn, which is just 1.2%.
The risk is so serious that commercial delivery companies like UPS intentionally design delivery routes to minimize or completely eliminate left-hand turns made by their drivers. A slightly more circuitous route, such as taking multiple right-hand turns instead of a single left-hand turn, will decrease the chance of a specific driver causing a crash. It may even decrease the amount of travel time, as left-hand turns tend to require drivers to wait for longer than a right-hand turn.
Traffic safety statistics could save your life
You cannot reasonably expect to avoid every left-hand turn for the rest of your life, but you can make informed choices about when you turn left. You might choose to drive a bit farther and then turn back to make a right-hand turn into a business when traffic is very heavy, visibility is low or the weather is problematic. You may also choose to specifically avoid left-hand turns at intersections that have high collision risks or on particularly busy streets.
Proactively watching for signs of someone else turning left could also help you reduce your risk of a crash, as not everyone will appropriately signal their intent to turn. Learning more about what contributes to your motor vehicle crash risk will lead to safer driving practices and less of a chance of causing of collision.