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 to yield the right of way to any oncoming traffic or pedestrians. Negligent U-turns in Chicago are the cause of pedestrian injuries, accidents with oncoming vehicles and multiple-car accidents. Whenever any motorist makes a decision that results in the injury of another person, he or she 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 is committed to holding drivers making U-turns in Chicago fully accountable for injuries they cause to others. Our team of Chicago car accident lawyers will do what it takes for you to get the compensation that you are entitled to for injuries related to a u-turn accident in Illinois. For a free case evaluation contact our law firm 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— this can include making the turn from the right of two adjacent left turn lanes, from a parking space or in a location where signage signals that U-turns are illegal. 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— conditions such as extreme cold or violent storms can limit visibility or reduce traction, which all contribute to accidents. Not all weather related accidents are the result of rain, sleet or snow, however. 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 make brash and irrational decisions. It may seem elementary to suggest that drivers should look before turning but some drivers may turn without checking for oncoming traffic or pedestrians.
- Failure to obey traffic signal— those making U-turns or oncoming vehicles may fail to obey a changing traffic signal, resulting in a collision. Whenever a driver disobeys a traffic control device and an accident results, he or she is responsible for providing restitution to the other party.
Whenever making a turn from the left lane, as is the case whenever making a 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 the light changes before proceeding to make 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 left lane, must only enter the intersection while a traffic signal permits it and anyone performing such a 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
U-turn accidents can be minor affairs but they also have the potential to cause major accidents that require complex and extensive litigation to solve afterward. The types of accidents that result from improper U-turns include the following.
- 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 more 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 other vehicles deserve.
- Multiple vehicle accident— accidents involving chain reactions 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 become more difficult to litigate because of the complexity in establishing which parties are liable and to what extent.
Even at lower speeds, U-turn accidents can be the cause of serious 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 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 place an accurate value on your case.
We’ve helped thousands of clients recover compensation for their medical bills, out of pocket expenses, lost wages and 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 to give you the best chance of a successful recovery and to maximize the amount of compensation you can recover in the process. If we are unable to secure damages on your behalf, our services will be free of charge.