Dangers of U-Turns in NYC and Liability if a Crash Occurs


Are U-turns illegal? Making a U-turn in an automobile is a risky maneuver. It requires stopping and turning across opposing lanes of traffic, which often leads to traffic collisions. That is why one-eighty turns are prohibited in many places including U-turns in business districts in NY. Any driver attempting an about-turn should do so only after making sure it is legal and then yield to any oncoming traffic.

If motorists who caused accidents during U-turns – legally or illegally – injured you or a member of your family, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other losses.

The car accident attorneys at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., deal with the consequences of negligent driving in New York City every day, including assisting motorists, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists injured in car accidents caused by negligent drivers. If you have been injured in an accident during a U-turn in New York, let us review the details of the accident at no charge and discuss the steps you can take.

Why Are U-turns So Dangerous?

A U-turn is a left turn made so a vehicle may proceed in the direction opposite from the direction it was headed.

The danger of a U-turn comes from the facts:

  • A U-turn cuts across one or more lanes of traffic
  • A failed attempt requires backing up while perpendicular to oncoming traffic and then pulling ahead again.

About-turns are often prohibited. Driving manuals warn to not attempt U-turns where other drivers cannot see your vehicle from 500 feet away in either direction, such as near the top of a hill or in a curve.

Places Where U-Turns are Illegal in In New York

  • In school zones
  • On limited-access expressways
  • In New York City business districts
  • Anywhere a sign says U-turns are not allowed.

Six Common U-Turn Accident Types

A driver attempting a U-turn in urban traffic without the benefit of a green light left turn arrow can easily cause a collision while attempting to merge into oncoming traffic coming.

Potential About-Turn Accidents

  • T-bone accident in which an oncoming vehicle slams into the side of the car in mid-U-turn as it turns across the lane.
  • A sideswipe accident caused by the driver attempting a one-eighty turn and not turning sharply enough to stay in the immediate lane and instead of drifting into the second lane of traffic and an oncoming vehicle.
  • A rear-end accident as the car stops unexpectedly and/or reverses in the middle of a one-eighty turn and is hit from behind.
  • A head-on collision as the negligent driver pulls into oncoming traffic while looking left for a U-turn.
  • pedestrian accident caused by a driver attempting a one-eighty turn and failing to see and yield the right-of-way to a person in a crosswalk. Drivers involved in about-turns are more likely to fail to see motorcyclists and bicyclists.
  • A multiple-vehicle accident caused by a chain reaction to a stopped or reversing vehicle in a failed U-turn, or after an initial U-turn collision.

Who Is At Fault in a U-Turn Collision?

Whoever made the u-turn may be considered the person at fault. After suffering an injury in a U-turn accident, you’ll need to show that another driver was legally responsible for the accident. Proving legal responsibility requires demonstrating negligence and causation. Negligence means breaking a traffic law such as making an illegal about-turn or driving with unreasonable carelessness. You’ll need to show that the driver’s negligence was the direct cause of the accident during a U-turn that caused your injury.

To gather the evidence necessary to prove that a crash was caused by another driver, you will need the aid of an experienced New York City car accident lawyer who has knowledge of New York insurance and personal injury laws.

As your NYC car accident lawyers, David Resnick & Associates will work to:

  • Gather evidence, including physical evidence from vehicle damage, the crash scene, witness statements, security camera video if available, and medical records that show the extent of your injuries and treatment, as well as records of your additional financial losses.
  • Prove causation, which involves using evidence to create a narrative of what happened to you and how it occurred. In some more complicated car accident cases, we enlist the help of traffic accident reconstruction experts to help explain the accident and depict it in computer-generated imagery (CGI), video, or other visual aids.
  • Assign fault to the appropriate party such as the driver attempting an illegal U-turn in NYC. The assignment of fault identifies this person and his or her insurance company as the party that should be compelled to compensate you.
  • Calculate injury and demand damages. In a U-turn car accident claim, the defendant may be compelled to pay compensation to the injured plaintiff for medical expenses, lost wages, and additional losses, and for pain and suffering. To ensure you obtain the maximum compensation possible, David Resnick & Associates will calculate your current bills and hire consulting medical and financial experts to testify as to your pain, suffering, and long-term medical care needs and their costs, as well as your future financial losses due to your injuries.

Most car accident claims can be settled out of court through our negotiations. If this does not prove possible in your case, because of the type of case preparation outlined above, David Resnick & Associates will be ready to present a strong and persuasive case in court on your behalf.

Contact a New York City Car Accident Attorney About a U-Turn Accident

If you have been injured in a New York City car accident during a U-turn by another driver, you may be entitled to demand compensation for your injuries and other losses. Contact David Resnick & Associates, P.C., in New York for a review of your accident and legal options provided at no charge to you.

As your car accident attorneys, David Resnick & Associates will work to recover maximum compensation for you to ensure that you have been made whole for the full financial and emotional impact of a preventable traffic collision caused by another driver. For a free initial evaluation of your case, contact the firm today by calling 212-279-2000 or by completing our online contact form.

Author: David Resnick

Founder of David Resnick & Associates, P.C., a New York personal injury law firm in charge of providing exceptional and personal service to each of our clients in various areas including car accidents, slip and fall, wrongful death, construction accidents, and premises liability. David Resnick founded the firm in 1998 after working in large law firms where he saw a need for greater client communication and more personal care.

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