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Houston Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Auto Accidents > What to Know About U-Turn Accidents

What to Know About U-Turn Accidents


Statistics show that approximately one-quarter of car accidents happen at intersections. Intersection accidents can be caused by various factors, but one common one is U-turns. A U-turn is a 180-degree rotation in which a vehicle turns in a U-shaped course so as to face in the opposite direction.

U-turns are a quick way to turn around, but they can be dangerous maneuvers. If other drivers are not seeing you make a U-turn, you could cause a serious or even fatal accident. Sometimes U-turns are legal at green lights when you are in a turn lane. In some cases, though, they are illegal. There will be signs instructing you not to make such a turn.

This is what makes U-turn accidents complex. When one happens, the insurance company will need to know who is at fault. Is the driver who made the U-turn at fault? Or is it the other party for not seeing the vehicle making the U-turn?

Causes of U-Turn Accidents

U-turn accidents may be caused by the following:

  • Lack of visibility. Drivers may not have a clear view of oncoming traffic or other vehicles when making a U-turn, leading to collisions.
  • Physical obstructions, such as parked cars, buildings, or trees, can block a driver’s view, making U-turns more dangerous.
  • Failure to yield. Not yielding to oncoming traffic or pedestrians can result in accidents. Drivers sometimes underestimate the speed of oncoming vehicles or don’t see them in time.
  • Improper judgment. Misjudging the speed and distance of oncoming vehicles is a frequent cause of U-turn accidents.
  • Illegal U-turns. Making U-turns in prohibited areas, such as at intersections with “No U-turn” signs, can lead to collisions.
  • Distracted driving. Drivers not paying full attention to the road while making a U-turn are more likely to cause an accident.
  • High speeds reduce the time available to react to vehicles making U-turns, increasing the likelihood of an accident.
  • Poor road conditions. Wet, icy, or otherwise compromised road surfaces can cause vehicles to skid or lose control during a U-turn.
  • Aggressive driving. Drivers who make sudden or aggressive U-turns can catch other drivers off guard, leading to accidents.

Who is at Fault?

The driver making the U-turn is typically liable for a U-turn accident, but this may depend on the signage. U-turn signs are placed:

  • At intersections. The sign clarifies whether making U-turns is allowed on the connected roads.
  • Near schools and in residential areas. This is done to help manage traffic flow and ensure safety.
  • Highways and divided roads. Signs will indicate designated turn-around points.

There are two main types of signage:

  • Permitted U-turn sign. These signs indicate that making U-turns in specific locations is allowed and safe.
  • Prohibited U-turn sign. This sign will have a red slash through it depicting that making a U-turn is not allowed.

These designations can help establish who made an illegal U-turn.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

Maneuvers such as U-turns can be dangerous, causing serious accidents.

Involved in a U-turn accident? A Houston U-turn accident attorney from The West Law Office, PLLC can assist you. You deserve an aggressive advocate looking out for your rights and best interests. To schedule a consultation with our office, call 281-347-3247 or fill out the online form.



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