Who’s Really at Fault in a Left Turn Accident?

  • Dan T. Matrafajlo
  • Mon Jan 2017
  • Accident,
  • 0

Left Turn AccidentAccording to statistics presented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 22 percent of intersection accidents involve someone making a left turn. In fact, left turn accidents represent the highest number of intersection crashes. You might be surprised to learn who is almost overwhelming at fault for left turn accidents.

If you think there’s an equal chance that either driver could be to blame for a left turn accident, you’re unfortunately mistaken. More times than not, the motorist making the left turn was found to be at fault. Of course, there are exceptions.

Common Reasons for Left Turn Accidents

Left turn accidents can occur at a variety of intersections. This includes crashes at traffic signals, stop signs and crossroads with no signs or signals. Regardless of the type of intersection, the number one reason for left turn accidents is cited as “inadequate surveillance.”

What exactly is inadequate surveillance? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates commercial motor vehicles offers an explanation. It means that the driver did not enough time to look safely before making the turn. Again, this accounts for the vast majority of left turn accidents.

The onus is on the motorist making the left turn to adequately look before making the turn. Failure to do so can result in severe accidents and cause serious injuries. There are other factors that may cause left turn accidents. These include:

  • Misjudgment in ability to make it through the intersection
  • Inattentive motor vehicle operation
  • Aggressive driving


There are some cases that the driver making the left turn may not be at fault. Although there may be a contention that the driver going straight was speeding and caused the accident, this is often difficult to prove. However, there are other reasons the crash may not be the fault of the driver making the left turn. These include:

  • Driver going straight went through a red light or stop sign
  • Other motorist ignored that driver making left turn had a green arrow
  • Someone tried to beat a red light


An experienced personal injury attorney can review the circumstances of your accident and provide you with the feasibility of pursuing a claim. This may require an investigation, including interviews with witnesses that may have seen the accident.

Contact Us

At the Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo, we have decades of experience representing individuals injured in motor vehicle accidents. Contact us so that we can review the circumstances of your car crash and determine if you should pursue legal action.

  • logos