Trooper Tips: 'Turn to your right, turn to your left'

Usually when I finish writing one of my articles I read back over it and hope that I don’t sound as if I give a lecture every month.  My hope is to help us remember some of those driving tips we got back when we were 16 and bring it to the forefront of our minds.  I know I don’t remember everything I learned back when I was 16.

This month I want to touch on the subject of turns, because when we drive we turn a lot, and not everyone is doing it correctly. The majority of crashes happen at intersections, so we need to be more cautious around them.

When you are at an intersection and plan on making a turn it is very important to make sure it’s accomplished correctly. This might amuse you thinking you’ve done it before and so you can accomplish the task. But then ask yourself are you doing it correctly, which in turn, equals safety.

Let’s say a car is in the right turn lane and going to make a right turn. The road it is going to turn on usually has several lanes. One could be an acceleration lane, or the second one may be a through travel lane, meaning that road has cars that are already using that lane. In either case, the car turning right is required by law to turn to the closest lane to it. The car is not allowed to turn right and then go directly across multiple lanes to get to the farthest left lane, even if you are planning on turning in a very short distance. The way around that is to go down to an area you can do that safely as well as legally. 

Another important reminder is a car is not allowed to turn onto a street and cause another car to deviate from its course. This means if you cause another car to swerve, or have to brake, it can cost get you a ticket. So, if the car turns right, it turns into the lane closest to the right of the roadway. If it is turning left, then it is required to turn to the closest lane to the left of the roadway.

Also if the car is turning left, it is not allowed to go into the intersection until it is clear and safe to do so.  This means it is not allowed to go into the intersection and wait until the cars go by and then make the turn. I’m sure you have seen plenty of cars in the intersection waiting to turn and then the light turns red and only then do they make the turn. Sorry to tell you, but that is against the law, as well as unsafe.

I hope this was helpful. Visit us on Facebook and Twitter: CSP Public Affairs @CSP_News

As always, safe travels!