Aside from putting a vehicle in reverse and backing it up, a U-turn is one of the most dangerous maneuvers that a driver can execute. A negligently performed U-turn in Philadelphia traffic can cause accidents with pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, cars, busses and trucks. Any legal U-turn that a driver makes must be carefully carried out in the right way. If an accident occurs in the course of a driver making a U-turn, it’s likely that the U-turning driver will be held liable for injuries and damages resulting from the accident.
Common Causes of U-Turn Accidents
Even when a driver is at a location where a U-turn is permitted, that driver must use due care and caution for others who are on or about the roadway. Here are some common causes of U-turn accidents:
- U-Turns from Improper Locations: Examples of this are trying to make a U-turn from the right lane on a four-land roadway, where signs prohibiting U-turns are posted or even attempting to make a U-turn from a parking space on a street.
- Failure to Keep a Proper Lookout and Yield: This often occurs when a driver makes a snap decision to make a U-turn without first carefully checking whether it can be done safely.
- Disobeying a Traffic Control Device: A U-turning driver might disregard a traffic signal and cause an accident.
- Adverse Weather Conditions: Fog, rain, sleet or snow can impair a driver’s visibility when making a U-turn. Even glare from the sun toward the end of an otherwise beautiful day can turn a U-turn accident tragedy.
- Distracted Driving: A driver of a U-turning vehicle might be talking on a cell phone, texting or be otherwise distracted and not be aware of traffic on the roadway.
A Recent Philadelphia Fatal U-Turn Accident
Motorcycles present low and narrow profiles in traffic, and some drivers just don’t see them until it’s too late. In May 2020, a driver of a car attempted a U-turn before sunset at the intersection of Broad and Dauphin in North Philadelphia. A southbound motorcyclist hit the back of the car. He was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Drivers who choose to make a U-turn must use a high degree of care and caution. They must signal their intentions and properly estimate the time and space that’s required to make the turn so as not to interfere with anybody else on the roadway. If you were injured, or a family member was killed in an accident with a U-turning driver, don’t give any type of a written or recorded statement to the opposing insurance company. It will only be used against you sometime in the future. Pennsylvania law doesn’t require you to give such a statement anyway. Instead, contact our offices as soon as possible to speak confidentially with an experienced and skilled Philadelphia motorcycle accident lawyer who can help you understand the damages that you’re confronted with. Once we’re retained to represent you, our goal will be to maximize any settlement or award that you might receive.