According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2017, 498 drivers made improper turns that resulted in fatal crashes throughout the United States. The Illinois Department of Transportation reports that there were nearly 12,000 injuries related to improper turns in the state of Illinois in 2015.
If you suffered any injuries in an accident due to someone making an improper turn, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to reach a member of our team. We might be able to help you recover compensation for your losses.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 36% of all accidents happen at intersections, with more than 480,000 of those accidents occurring due to turning left.
Often, a driver may have an obstructed view while turning or may drive directly into a blind spot. In other cases, a driver may misjudge the speed of the other drivers or miscalculate the distance across the intersection. In other cases, a driver might knowingly make an illegal maneuver.
Examples of Improper Turns
Improper turns, including improper U-turns, can happen at any intersection on the roadways. They may be due to carelessness or not understanding what areas allow what kind of turns. Examples of improper turns may include the following:
- Making a right-hand turn at a red light when there is a sign indicating “No turn on red.”
- Making a left turn at a red light, at any time.
- Failing to fully stop at a stop sign, or failing to yield to oncoming traffic before making a turn.
- Making a turn without proper signaling.
- Making an illegal U-turn in the middle of a roadway, or at an intersection where it is not allowed.
- Making an improper turn without having the right of way.
- Making a turn without using the properly designated lane for either a right or left-hand turn.
Injuries Suffered From Improper Turns
Improper turns occur when a motorist is essentially in the wrong lane of traffic, or in the right lane of traffic at an incorrect time. Either way, the improper turn will cause a vehicle to head toward a sideswiping accident, a T-bone accident, or a head-on collision with another vehicle.
If you suffered injuries in an accident involving an improper turn, your vehicle might have been hit with substantial and excessive force. Improper turns cause collisions that result in serious injuries or even death. Some of the types of severe injuries that a victim may suffer in an improper turn accident may include the following:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (ranging from mild to severe)
- Broken or fractured bones
- Aortic dissection
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord damage
- Paralysis (either temporary or permanent)
- Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
For a free legal consultation with an improper turns accidents lawyer serving Chicago, call (800) 794-0444
Like most other states, the Illinois Vehicle Code requires all motorists to approach a right turn from the right-hand lane, or the edge of the roadway, and conversely, make a left turn from the left-hand lane.
Section 11-802 of the Illinois Vehicle Code has very strict guidelines regarding where a vehicle may turn and how vehicles may turn on the roadways. However, the City of Chicago has even more restrictive laws, specifically concerning U-turns. Section 9-16-040 of the City of Chicago Municipal Code states that U-turns are not permitted at any point closer than 100 feet in any intersection unless there are official city signs to permit these kinds of turns.
The fines for improper turns vary, but can range anywhere from $50 to $300, depending on the nature and severity of the violation. The state of Illinois takes improper turns and improper lane usage seriously because this type of illegal maneuver may cause catastrophic accidents involving serious injuries or even death.
However, in many cases, when an improper turn causes an accident, or if a police officer stops a driver due to an improper turn, they may also add an additional charge of reckless driving. Reckless driving charges are typically considered a Class A misdemeanor, and will add both fines and possible time in jail, depending on the severity of the charge.
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Prevention of Improper Turns
While a driver cannot avoid every accident, there are certain steps a motorist can take to prevent accidents related to improper turns.
- Always check oncoming traffic carefully before ever making a turn yourself.
- Only turn if you know for certain that the road is clear and that you have the absolute right of way.
- Never make any illegal turns, including illegal U-turns.
- If you need to make a legal U-turn, make sure to look for a sign indicating that it is legal to do so, and check oncoming traffic.
- Make sure to always look for other drivers in the roadway and at intersections, never speed, and always have enough distance between your vehicle and another vehicle in case you need to make a sudden stop.
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Following an accident caused by a driver making an improper turn, you may ultimately have substantial medical bills, lost wages, or lost tuition costs due to the inability to return to work or school due to your injuries.
If you suffered injuries due to a negligent driver’s improper turn, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to reach a member of our team. We can help you determine if you have a legal claim to compensation for your injuries and damages.