Brad Pistotnik Law
Abogado El Toro

What Makes Illegal U-Turns so Dangerous?

What Makes Illegal U-Turns so Dangerous?

What makes illegal u-turns so dangerous for drivers? What actions can motorists take to reduce their risk of causing, or becoming involved in these types of accidents? U-turns are some of the most dangerous maneuvers motorists can take. They are even more dangerous when they occur in prohibited areas. Motorists can reduce their risk of these types of accidents by simply not engaging in the behavior and closely monitoring vehicular traffic around them for cars that are turning where they shouldn't.

Defining Illegal U-Turns

Illegal u-turns include turns that occur when pulling out of parking spaces, turning at intersections or crossings where posted signs prohibit the maneuver, illegally crossing painted medians, or turning from the right lane of a two-lane left turn lane. When a motorist makes an illegal u-turn, they are guilty of negligence per se. This means they knowingly and negligently violate the law.

Even where a u-turn may be allowed by law, drivers can make a negligent and illegal u-turn if they attempt to do so in heavy traffic or in weather conditions that reduce visibility and make the maneuver more hazardous than usual. In these circumstances, law enforcement has the discretion to cite the driver for such actions.

Turn Related Accidents in Kansas

In 2017, improper turns, including illegal u-turns, were cited in 1,330 accidents in Kansas. This was 2.5% of all accidents in the state. By comparison, 1,314 accidents involved running red lights, and 1,378 involved distracted drivers. While many drivers are aware of the risks of running red lights and driving while distracted, the data shows that equal attention needs to be placed on improper and illegal turns.

Many u-turns take place at marked intersections. In 2017, 11,439 accidents took place at intersections in Kansas. These caused 81 fatalities. A further 7,019 accidents were "intersection related," and caused 15 fatalities. Another common place for u-turn accidents are parking lots. In 2017, 2,724 accidents happened in parking lots. These collisions caused 10 fatalities.

Liability for Illegal U-Turns

Liability for illegal u-turns almost always falls solely on the driver engaging in the maneuver. However, in some instances, liability can fall on other parties. Examples of this are a parking lot manager that fails to erect barriers to deter and prevent illegal u-turns, or a municipal entity that fails to protect the public by erecting barriers and posting signs in areas where illegal u-turns and accidents are common.

Call Brad Pistotnik Law at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400. Our motor vehicle accident attorneys provide free legal consultations to clients pursuing claims for collisions caused by illegal u-turns. We give emergency legal consultations on weekends, holidays and at night. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can reach Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237.