Turns are one of the most dangerous common traffic movements. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, 30 percent of all traffic accidents occur in intersections as a result of improper turns. This statistic doesn’t bode well for Washingtonians, as D.C. has thousands of intersections where millions of drivers cross and turn each day. Many of these intersections present twice the risk, as they not only have one turn lane per side, but two.
However, just because you live in a city that has high turning accident risks doesn’t mean that you can’t protect yourself from a tragic accident.
Precautions and Awareness for Two-Lane Turns
You can take effective safety precautions to protect yourself and your family from a potentially serious turning accident. When using a double turn lane, always be aware of your surroundings and follow these four simple guidelines to help avoid a catastrophic collision:
- Always make sure that you remain in your lane before, during, and after your turn. When you’re in the left lane, stay as far to the left as possible. If you need to eventually get into the right lane, wait until the turn is complete to safely move over; the same advice applies if you’re in the right lane.
- Before turning, check sidewalks and crosswalks to make sure no one is (or will be) attempting to cross. Visibility could potentially decrease with other vehicles, so make sure your path is clear before you begin your turn.
- Pay attention to your surroundings: if a car is turning next to you, be aware of his speed and trajectory to avoid a potential collision.
- Space your vehicle strategically. When turning next to another car, try not to stay parallel with it. Stagger your vehicle between that car and the following vehicle, just in case the driver decides to swerve into your lane.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, every year you have about a four percent chance of getting into a car collision as a result of a turning accident. Over fiver million accidents occur each year, and two million of those occur at intersections. Don’t worsen your odds. Take proper precautions when turning and don’t allow someone else’s carelessness to hurt you or your family.
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