The risk for a crash is always there no matter how safe you try to be. However, there are certain driving habits that add to your overall collision risk far more than other behaviors.
You likely already recognize how dangerous drunk driving or texting while driving is. You may even avoid driving when you feel tired or when you have a cold. However, it is not just your physical condition when you get behind the wheel but also the choices that you make while in control of a vehicle that determines your overall risk for a crash.
The maneuvers that you make can directly contribute to your collision risk or reduce it in some cases. There is one driving maneuver that has a strong correlation with car crashes and even traffic fatalities.
Left-hand turns leave you and approaching traffic at risk
The flow of traffic determines the risk involved in different driving maneuvers. Traffic in the United States stays on the right-hand side of the road, which means that right-hand turns create minimal risk and exposure to oncoming traffic.
Left-hand turns, on the other hand, take longer to complete and expose the entire side of your vehicle to approaching traffic. There is a strong correlation between turning left and significant motor vehicle crashes.
In fact, the correlation is strong enough that big companies like UPS intentionally create routes for their drivers that try to eliminate left-hand turns if possible.
Do you have to avoid turning left at all costs?
Companies trying to plan routes that don’t involve left-hand turns may have their workers complete a more circuitous route to repeat the same location. Should you also make a habit of going around the block or taking a less direct approach every time you drive somewhere?
The truth is that avoiding left-hand turns simply isn’t practical for the average person. Instead of trying to never turn left, you may want to pay closer attention to the traffic around you before starting a left-hand turn and also make a point of double-checking for people turning left in front of you as you drive.
While these habits won’t eliminate your crash risk, they can help reduce the likelihood of being at fault for a major car wreck because you turned left.