It is important that anyone who makes a U-turn does so with the greatest care to be certain that the maneuver is legal and that they yield the right of way to any oncoming traffic, cyclists or pedestrians. Negligent U-turns in Chicago are the cause of pedestrian injuries, accidents with oncoming vehicles and multiple-car crashes. Whenever motorists make decisions that result in the injury of other individuals, they may be held liable for damages that include the cost of medical care, car repair or replacement, and any wages that have been lost while victims recover from their injuries.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are committed to holding drivers making U-turns in Chicago fully accountable for injuries they cause others. Our team of Chicago car accident lawyers will do what it takes to obtain the compensation that you are entitled to for injuries related to a U-turn accident in Illinois. To receive a free case evaluation contact our law firm or complete our contact form.
Factors that Contribute to Illinois U-Turn Accidents
Even when it is legal to make a U-turn, it is important that drivers do so in the correct manner, making sure that there are no pedestrians in the area and that oncoming traffic has passed before attempting the turn. In addition, the turn must be made from the correct lane and location in the road. The following are the most common contributing factors to U-turn accidents.
- Making a U-turn from an improper location — Some drivers attempt to make a U-turn from the right of two adjacent left turn lanes, from a parking space or in a location where there are NO U-TURN signs are present. It is important that drivers only make U-turns from positions where it is both legal to do so and where they have complete awareness of surroundings.
- Adverse weather — Inclement weather conditions including extreme cold or violent storms can limit driver visibility or reduce traction, which can cause accidents. However, not all weather-related crashes are the result of rain, sleet or snow. In some cases, direct sunlight can make it difficult for drivers to see, for example.
- Making a U-turn without looking or yielding — When drivers are in a hurry, they can make brash and irrational decisions. It may seem elementary to suggest that drivers should look before turning but some drivers may make a U-turn without checking for oncoming traffic or pedestrians.
- Failure to obey traffic signal — Drivers making U-turns or motorists in oncoming vehicles may fail to obey a changing traffic signal, resulting in a collision. Whenever drivers disobey traffic control devices and accidents occur, they are usually responsible for providing financial restitution to the all victims.
Illinois U-turn Law and How it Applies to Chicago U-turn Accidents
Whenever making a turn from the left lane, as is the case whenever making a legal U-turn, the right of way must always be provided to all other forms of traffic except if the turn is protected by a traffic signal. An example is if a vehicle is at an intersection with a green light, the driver must wait either until there is no oncoming traffic present or until a light change occurs to give permission to process in making the turn. This applies to U-turns as well. This is made clear in Illinois vehicle code— (625 ILCS 5/11-801) Sec. 11-801 states:
(2) The driver of a vehicle intending to turn left at any intersection shall approach the intersection in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction of travel of such vehicle, and after entering the intersection, the left turn shall be made so as to leave the intersection in a lane lawfully available to traffic moving in such direction upon the roadway being entered. Whenever practicable the left turn shall be made in that portion of the intersection to the left of the center of the intersection.
Additionally, the law states that U-turns must be performed from the same location as left turns and vehicles are only permitted to enter the intersection from the left lane when preparing to make either a left turn or U-turn:
(2) A vehicle shall not be driven in the lane except when preparing for or making a left turn from or into the roadway or when preparing for or making a U turn when otherwise permitted by law.
What this means is that U-turns must be treated as left turns and motorists must only perform a U-turn from the most left lane and only enter the intersection while a traffic signal permits it. Any driver performing this maneuver must yield the right of way to oncoming traffic and pedestrians. Additionally, the U-turn must only be performed from a location where it is legal to do so.
The Different Types of U-turn Accidents and Who is Affected
While some U-turn accidents are minor incidents, some U-turn maneuvers have the potential to cause major accidents that require complex and extensive litigation to legally resolve. Some accidents resulting from improper U-turns include:
- Collision with oncoming vehicle — This occurs most often when the driver acts too soon or fails to provide the right of way to oncoming vehicles.
- Injury to pedestrian — Whenever a crosswalk is present at an intersection, pedestrians must be given the right of way and it is a common error for motorists not to notice a pedestrian crossing when in the midst of making a U-turn.
- Motorcycle accident — Motorcyclists are sometimes difficult to notice and are often the victims of accidents involving other drivers who fail to see them or provide the same rights to them that all vehicles sharing the road deserve.
- Multiple vehicle accidents — Chain reaction accidents can occur because of a reckless or negligent U-turn when the angle of impact causes one vehicle to slide into oncoming traffic or into other vehicles occupying the intersection. These accidents can be difficult to litigate because of the complexity in establishing which parties are liable and to what extent.
How to Maximize your Recovery Following a Chicago U-turn Accident
Even at lower speeds, U-turn accidents can cause severe injuries that require medical treatment and rehabilitation. The cost of your medical bills and physical recovery should not become a burden if someone else’s actions were the cause of your injuries. The Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC Chicago auto accident law team is comprised of specialists who are versed in Illinois traffic law, an accident reconstruction team who can establish the cause of your accident and who is to be held liable, and a team of medical experts and economists who can determine an accurate value on your case.
We’ve helped thousands of clients recover compensation for their medical bills, out of pocket expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering endured as a result of their injuries. Contact us today to learn more about your legal options and how we can put our resources to work for you. We work on your behalf to give you the best opportunity for a successful recovery and obtain the maximum amount of financial compensation you deserve. If we are unable to recover damages on your behalf, our services will be free of charge.