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Left Turn – Failure to Yield

Left Turn Accidents

After rear-end collisions, the most common type of car accident is the failure of a driver turning left to yield the right of way to on-coming traffic. Referred to under California Vehicle Code section 21801(A).

Often times, the driver turning left is not paying sufficient attention to traffic coming towards it from the other side. Others misjudge the speed of the on-coming cars and feel they have enough time to make a safe left turn, only to be struck by the on-coming car in mid-turn.

A driver making a left turn has the legal duty not to make the turn until it is reasonable and safe to do so.

This means that the left-turning driver must be alert for on-coming traffic and their relative rate of speed.

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In most left-turn cases, a police officer will take a report and issue a traffic citation to the party turning left for failure to yield the right of way. However, in disputed left-turn accident cases, it is often necessary to employ an expert in accident reconstruction to prove who was at fault for the accident.  Perhaps the car making the left turn was doing so safely and the other driver runs a red light.  These are situations and instances where having the right attorney can make all the difference.

The expert accident reconstructionist will visit the scene, read the police report, measure any skid marks that may be remaining (or get these figures off the police report), look at where the damage to the cars occurred, assess the various damage to the cars, and take into consideration otherfacts that will help him or her determine who was at fault for the accident.

With such a thorough investigation, the accident reconstructionist will be able todetermine the speed of the oncoming car and the failure of the left-turning car to wait until the oncoming car has passed through the intersection and it is safe to make a left turn.