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Center Turn Lane Laws Arizona

Posted On 06/19/20 by Begam Marks & Traulson, PA

Turning left is one of the most dangerous maneuvers on the road. Confusion as to rights-of-way, lack of turn signals, and distracted or negligent drivers can all cause accidents while making left turns in Phoenix. Center turn lanes, or two-way left-turn lanes, can complicate things further. Many drivers misuse center turn lanes or break roadway laws from this lane, leading to serious vehicle collisions.

What Is the Law for Two-Way Left-Turn Lanes in Arizona?

The first step in preventing accidents while making left turns is learning the rules for how turn lanes should work in Arizona. Breaking roadway rules is a main cause of car accidents in Phoenix. Learning who bears the right-of-way in a two-way left-turn lane, for example, could enable you to stay out of another driver’s path. A two-way left-turn lane is one in which drivers traveling in opposite directions can both make left turns.

Arizona Revised Statute 28-751 states that when making a left turn, a driver must approach the turn in the furthermost left-hand lane available. A driver should make the turn from the left of the center of the intersection whenever possible. The law continues to specifically address two-way left-turn lanes in Arizona. It states that in these special lanes, drivers cannot lawfully turn left from any other lane. The driver must use the special lane marked for making left turns through official traffic control devices. Furthermore, a driver may not enter the two-way left-turn lane unless he or she is preparing to make a left turn or legal U-turn.

If you need to use a center turn lane or two-way left-turn lane in Arizona, do so carefully. Enter the lane using your blinker and only after you have verified the destination lane is clear. Keep your left-hand blinker on to signal your intent to turn. Follow all traffic control devices that apply to the lane. If you have a green arrow, wait for it to appear. If it is a green light, you must yield the right-of-way to traffic traveling in the opposite direction. Without a light present, wait for the road to clear before making the left turn or U-turn. Do not make a left turn other than as roadway signs and traffic signals direct.

Dangers of Left-Hand Turn Collisions

Left-hand turns often result in collisions. These accidents happen for many different reasons. The first, and most common, is driver negligence. When making a left-hand turn on a green light, the driver turning must yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic. Unfortunately, many drivers negligently fail to keep a proper lookout. They may turn left directly into an oncoming vehicle – especially difficult-to-see vehicles such as motorcycles. Drunk, distracted or drowsy drivers are more likely to make unsafe left turns that result in intersection accidents.

Another common cause of left-hand turn collisions is red-light running. The driver turning left might not be at fault if he or she had a green arrow and the oncoming driver ran a red light. This is a frequent scenario for intersection accidents. Finally, dangerously designed intersections and turn lanes could contribute to these collisions. A center turn lane that is not properly painted or marked, for example, could increase the risk of an accident.

Left-hand turn collisions are so dangerous because they often take the form of T-bone accidents: when one vehicle strikes the other directly on the driver’s side. Most intersection accidents are also high-speed collisions, especially when a reckless driver runs a red light. Left-turn accidents are often catastrophic and can cause fatal personal injuries.

Involved in an Accident? Contact a Car Accident Lawyer

If you or someone you love was in an accident involving a center turn lane or two-way left-turn lane in Arizona, contact a car accident lawyer for legal advice. The driver turning left or the oncoming driver could owe you compensation for your injuries. A lawyer can investigate your left-turn accident to understand causation and fault. Then, your lawyer can go up against the at-fault party on your behalf in pursuit of fair compensation. Call Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A., at (602) 254-6071 today to start a case.