Pedestrian Intersection Accident Involving Left Turning Driver

A pedestrian is 4 times more likely to be struck by a left turning vehicle at an intersection than a vehicle taking a right turn at an intersection. So what is it about left turns that makes them so dangerous?

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One of the biggest causes of left turning pedestrian intersection accidents deals with the fact that a left turning driver has a green the same time as a pedestrian has a walk light. This puts both the driver and the pedestrian in the intersection at the same time. In this situation, the pedestrian always has the right of way.

Making a left turn in a motor vehicle is one of the most dangerous maneuvers a driver can make on the road. Making a left turn at an intersection with traffic signals is even more dangerous. What’s amazing is that approximately 25% of all pedestrian intersection accidents occur when a car is making a left hand turn at the intersection. Therefore, a left turning motor vehicle at intersection represents a considerable threat to pedestrians.

A pedestrian is 4 times more likely to be struck by a left turning vehicle at an intersection than a vehicle taking a right turn at an intersection. So what is it about left turns that makes them so dangerous?

Taking left turns at intersections is more demanding than taking right turns for a few reasons. Most drivers have more problems visually detecting pedestrians while making left turns at intersections. One reason is that drivers tend to turn their head to the right more than the left when taking left turns. A driver’s peripheral vision is also reduced more so when taking a left turn than a right turn which limits their ability to detect pedestrians in their peripheral vision. Also, the metal frame that surrounds the windshield (A-pillar) along with the driver’s side door frame creates a visual impediment that obstructs the driver’s view to the left. This creates a blind spot that can obscure a pedestrian crossing on the left.

One of the biggest causes of left turning pedestrian intersection accidents deals with the fact that a left turning driver has a green the same time as a pedestrian has a walk light. This puts both the driver and the pedestrian in the intersection at the same time. In this situation, the pedestrian always has the right of way.

Traffic Laws

The following is list of some of the traffic laws that give pedestrians the right of way at crosswalks:

  • The pedestrian has the right of way in a crosswalk—M.G.L. c. 89, § 11
  • Vehicle operators shall not enter a crosswalk unless crossing can be completed—720 CMR 9.06(6)(b)
  • Vehicle operators shall not pass a vehicle stopped for a pedestrian in a crosswalk—M.G.L. c. 89, § 1, 350 CMR 4.01(8)
  • Vehicle Operator must yield to pedestrian at crosswalk—720 CMR 9.06(27)

Boston Pedestrian Accident Attorneys

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Our personal injury and wrongful death attorneys assist pedestrian accident victims, and family members of fatal pedestrian accident victims, throughout all of Massachusetts including but not limited to Plymouth County, Brockton, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Marshfield, Hingham, Duxbury, Wareham, Abington, Rockland, Whitman, Hanson, Holbrook, Middleborough; Norfolk County including Quincy, Stoughton, Dedham, Weymouth, Braintree, Avon, Holbrook, Randolph, Canton, Sharon, Brookline, Franklin; Bristol County including New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Attleboro, Westport, Dartmouth, Mansfield, Easton, Raynham, Lakeville, Norton; Cape Cod, Hyannis, Falmouth, Barnstable and the Greater Boston area including Cambridge, Somerville, Medford, Everett, Lawrence, Lynn, Revere, Dorchester, Roxbury.

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