What are U-Turn Accidents?
One of the most challenging driving moves most of us undertake is the U-turn. And making a U-turn is a leading cause of car accidents, whether legal or not.
Unsurprisingly, U-turns are strictly regulated in Georgia. Georgia is a “fault” state, meaning that whatever party is determined to be at fault in an accident must cover the other party’s damages.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a collision involving a U-turn, it is important to understand all legal options.
Who is at Fault for a U-Turn Accident in Georgia?
U-turn accidents occur when a driver makes a U-turn in the middle of the road and collides with an oncoming vehicle. Determining who is at fault for a U-turn accident can be complex, as there are several factors that can contribute to the cause of the accident.
In general, the driver making the U-turn may be considered at fault if they failed to check for oncoming traffic or did not have enough time to complete the U-turn safely. The driver may also be at fault if they made the U-turn in a prohibited area or failed to use the proper signals.
However, the driver of the oncoming vehicle may also be considered at fault if they were speeding or distracted while driving. In some cases, both drivers may be found to be at fault if they both contributed to the cause of the accident.
For example, if the driver making the U-turn failed to check for oncoming traffic, but the oncoming driver was also distracted and failed to slow down in time, both drivers may be found to be at fault.
The exact allocation of fault will depend on the specific circumstances of each case and the laws and regulations of the jurisdiction where the accident occurred. It is important for insurance companies, law enforcement, and the courts to thoroughly investigate U-turn accidents to determine who is at fault and to ensure that the responsible parties are held accountable.
When Is a U-turn Legal in Georgia?
According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) § 40-6-121, U-turns are always against the law on:
- Any curve
- Any hill or path that leads to one
- Any place where the U-turn will get in the way of other cars
- Any area with a sign saying U-turns are illegal
If none of the above are true, then it is legal to make a U-turn. In other words, U-turns are allowed in Georgia unless there’s a valid reason not to.
Why Are U-Turns So Dangerous?
U-turns are a type of left turn. In general, left turns are the most dangerous because a car must pass traffic in the opposite direction. Because of this, U-turns should only be done in a safe and controlled way. Even a tiny mistake can lead to an accident that hurts or damages innocent people like pedestrians or other drivers.
All drivers on the road have a duty to look out for other people. Part of this duty of care is only to make U-turns when it’s safe to do so and when it’s legal to do so. If a driver makes a U-turn without paying attention, they could be responsible for any damages they cause.
What Are the Most Common Situations Where a U-Turn Becomes an Accident?
The most common types of U-turn accidents include:
- U-Turn From the Right Lane: If the road isn’t wide enough to make a U-turn, you may have to move to the right before turning. Larger vehicles almost always need to do this. This isn’t technically against the law, but it could make other drivers think it’s okay to pass you on the left. As you start to turn, you end up getting in a rear-end collision.
- U-Turn at an Intersection: At intersections, it’s only against the law to make a U-turn if there is a sign stating not to. But it’s common to start a U-turn thinking no one is coming, only to find that someone is turning right at the same time from the opposite direction. This could lead to a collision.
- U-Turn When Someone Else Was Speeding: When a car behind you or in the opposite direction is going too fast, they won’t have time to see that you’re making a U-turn and slow down or get out of the way. They may be closer to you than you thought, which could cause a severe accident. In this case, the other driver is probably at fault, not the one who made the U-turn.
U-turn accidents are caused by many other things as well. Talking to a lawyer is the best way to determine who is at fault and how much compensation you will likely receive.
Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers at The Brown Firm
If you have been injured in an accident, the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Brown Firm offer free consultations to accident victims in Georgia and South Carolina. Call 800-529-1441 to speak with our personal injury team today!
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