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Left or right turns: What’s safer when driving?

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

You might not have thought about the safety difference between turning left and turning right before. After all, you can get injured doing either. Yet recent studies show that left turns are the more dangerous of the two, accounting for one in six intersection crashes.

Why is that, and what can you do about it?

Turning left forces you to travel across the oncoming traffic

There is so much going on at intersections that it is easy for crashes to occur. It only takes one driver to misjudge something. When you turn left, you are exposed to a whole stream of oncoming traffic, as well as the traffic that is in front of you and behind you, so there are more people to potentially make an error that affects you. Equally, if you make an error, there’s a greater chance it affects someone else.

Turning right is, therefore, simpler and safer because you cut out that whole other set of vehicles. So why doesn’t everyone cut out the left turns? That’s a good question. Some delivery companies, such as UPS, have adjusted their navigation software to prevent their drivers from turning left.

Won’t keeping to rights make the journey longer?

It may increase the distance you travel, but it won’t necessarily take any longer, and it may save you gas. To turn left, you normally need to wait with your motor running, sometimes for a few minutes. Turning right avoids this delay and wasted fuel, thus making it more efficient overall, according to UPS.

You also need to remember that even a minor collision can result in a significant and costly delay. A major intersection crash could prove fatal or leave you in need of significant compensation.