When you are crossing an intersection, you might be surprised to discover that another driver decides to suddenly make a left turn at a red light. In some states, drivers are allowed to make left-hand turns under some circumstances, such as when the driver is moving with the flow of traffic, but in many cases, the driver made a mistake or was simply breaking the law on purpose.
The Legality of a Left-Hand Turn at a Red Light
In many states, you are only allowed to make a left-hand turn on a red light if you are turning onto a one-way street. Also, the traffic must be flowing in the same direction that your vehicle is moving.
However, if there is a sign that states that turning on a red light is prohibited, you will not be able to do so under any circumstances. The sign that states that no turns are allowed should be located adjacent to the traffic light. If it is not possible for the driver to see the sign, they might not be held responsible for making the left turn.
One situation where a driver is always allowed to make a left turn is with a protected left-hand turn. However, some drivers try to rush through a protected turn even when it is no longer active. Then, if the driver collides with your vehicle, they will likely be held responsible for the accident.
Left-Hand Turns at a Green Light
Even if the light is green, the driver will be held responsible for the accident if they cut you off with a left-hand turn. They must wait until the road is clear and there is enough distance between themselves and oncoming traffic before they are allowed to turn.
After Your Accident
When a driver making a left-hand turn at a red light hits you, they will usually be held responsible for the accident, but this is not always the case. For this reason, it's important to involve an auto accident lawyer in your case as early as possible.
After the accident, you must immediately contact the police and wait for them to arrive. You will then want to speak with the police officer and explain that the driver made a left-hand turn at a red light. The police officer might cite the driver for a traffic violation. Then, speak with an auto accident lawyer to discuss how you should proceed with your case.