The purposes of traffic laws are to protect the interests and well-being of motorists, minimize risk and reduce the chance of an accident. There are times when it is necessary to change or update existing laws in Illinois, such as those allowing left turns. There are some who claim that left turns are dangerous and that this specific type of turn should be outlawed.
There is data that suggests outlawing left turns will make roads safer everywhere. In Chicago, this could reduce the number of accidents, injuries and costs for the city. There is also evidence to suggest that removing left-hand turns is actually more efficient. It may reduce fuel costs, emissions and make the roads better for everyone.
Are these turns more dangerous?
City streets are busy. Unimpeded and smooth traffic flow is important, and left-hand turns require vehicles to stop and wait until it is clear before they can turn. This may mean a vehicle idles in one place for a while, and it can slow or even completely halt the flow of traffic. In turn, more congestion leads to a higher likelihood of an accident. One proposal suggests that it is better and safer to eliminate the option turn left at intersections with traffic signals.
Studies on traffic accidents in cities suggest that around 40% of all incidents happen at intersections. Left-hand turns require drivers to cross oncoming traffic, making it more likely a crash will occur. Of all of the crashes that take place at intersections, over 60% of them involve a driver attempting to make a left-hand turn. There are strategies some cities employ to make left-hand turns safer, but eliminating them altogether could be the safest and easiest option.
The responsibilities of drivers
Regardless of laws related to left-hand turns, drivers are responsible for the choices they make while behind the wheel. If you are a victim of an accident caused by the reckless or negligent actions of another Illinois driver, you have legal options available to you. It is possible you have grounds to pursue damages through a civil claim. If you are unsure of what you should do next after a crash, it may help to simply seek an assessment of your case first.