Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Weekly Tip - Yield on Left Turns

Officers respond on many collisions involving vehicles making left turns. The majority of the time, the driver of the turning vehicle is found to be at fault. On multiple lane roadways, like that of Santa Anita Avenue, south of Huntington Drive, drivers make turns across several lanes of traffic to enter an alley. This scenario plays out on many roadways where drivers must cross multiple lanes to enter a driveway, private property, or another roadway. When a driver is making a left turn on a roadway, the California Vehicle Code requires that the driver yield right of way to vehicles approaching from an opposite direction. Yielding right of way would include vehicles approaching in adjacent lanes to perhaps stopped traffic that is allowing you to turn.

In the above photo (courtesy Google Earth), you can see that there are four “lanes” of northbound traffic for a southbound vehicle turning left to cross; a left turn lane, two thru lanes and a parking/right turn only lane. A driver turning left must yield, lane by lane to oncoming traffic. There may be associated factors in a collision such as speed of other vehicles, but the primary fault in this type of collision most often rests with the turning driver.

Take your time, make sure each lane is clear and watch out for yourself while driving.

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