Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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The left turn and older drivers

Older drivers are frequently involved in traffic crashes during a left turn.

As we age and our eyesight declines, it gets more and more difficult to make routine judgments about where and when to begin to make a turn or how fast oncoming cars are going. That poses the most problems at intersections, especially during a left turn.

In a left-hand turn, the person getting hit is in a lot more danger than the one ramming him. In fact, in crashes involving older motorists, the older motorist is typically the one being struck by another vehicle.

So, if possible, make several right turns to get where you want to go instead. And keep these points in mind:

  • Always slow down and flash your turn signal well in advance.
  • Check all around you for traffic.
  • Allow plenty of time and room to make the turn, and look for pedestrians, motorcycles, other turning cars, and cars coming in the opposite direction.
  • Keep your wheels straight until you actually begin to turn. This way, if someone hits you from behind you won't be pushed into oncoming traffic.
  • After you make the turn, check to see that your turn signal went off.

Questions about the content of this page:
Jacqueline Kamin, jacqueline.kamin@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: November 3, 2014

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