How to Avoid Getting in a Crash at a U-Turn

The Driver’s Handbook isn’t always clear and as more time goes by since your last review (such as when you take your driver’s test), the more you tend to forget. While it’s true that the road rules are evolving constantly, U-turn right of way determinations have not changed a lot in the last few years. As one of the most misunderstood rules, here’s all you need to know.

Laws About U-Turn Right-of-Way

As you’re stopped at an intersection that permits U-turns, you’ll sometimes see several near-misses. This is simply due to the fact that two drivers are attempting to go in the exact same directions. If you’re stopped at an intersection allowing U-turns and you get the green arrow, then you have the right-of-way legally. A driver performing a U-turn with a red light has to yield to oncoming traffic.

Both should remain in the nearest lane and not cut into traffic. If you’re performing a U-turn in a place where you got the green light and have to yield to traffic, then the other drivers will have the legal right-of-way. If you’re ever questioning who has the right-of-way and who needs to yield, it’s best to read the signs. You’ll see signs at intersections indicating who has the right-of-way.

What Happens When You Don’t Follow the Law

If you go through with a U-turn and you don’t have the right-of-way, it may not cause a crash. If a police officer were to see you, you’ll almost certainly be fined for a moving violation. If you happened to cause a crash with someone in oncoming traffic, you can face more criminal liabilities and civil penalties. The affected driver can have you held liable for any damage to the vehicle, medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering with a personal injury attorney. That’s the reason it’s crucial for every driver to be familiar with the rules of the road. If someone is ever unsure, they can always review the driver’s handbook or online resources.