Yesterday, a left turn car accident resulted in the death of a 65-year-old Clearwater woman after she turned her car into the path of an oncoming vehicle, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The Clearwater woman was driving east in the left turn lane of Roosevelt Boulevard around 1 p.m. when she approached 62nd Street N. According to the article, Andrew O. Gramza was traveling west in the inside lane of Roosevelt Boulevard. The woman made a left turn in front of Gramza causing the left turn car accident wherein Mr. Gramza hit the passenger side of Ronacher’s car. Sadly, the Clearwater woman died at the scene.
Florida law states what all drivers must do when making a left turn. Florida Statute 316.151(1)(b) states:
(b) Left turn.—The driver of a vehicle intending to turn left at any intersection shall approach the intersection in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction of travel of such vehicle, and, after entering the intersection, the left turn shall be made so as to leave the intersection in a lane lawfully available to traffic moving in such direction upon the roadway being entered.
Seems simple, but most intersection collisions are left turn car accidents. Here are a few tips to avoid a left turn car accident from MotorcycleCentral.com (they apply to car drivers as well):
To avoid a left turn car accident, the driver turning left should do the following:
- Always come to a complete stop: Even if there is no traffic in sight, stop and take a second look.
- Pay complete attention: It’s important to be absolutely aware of what’s going on around you. Your line of sight is important, so be absolutely sure that traffic is clear by taking a good look around.
- Leave room: Remember that you really need to have the room to move. If you need to pull a Fast & Furious type of launch, then it’s probably a better idea to hold on.
- Be patient: Wait for a clear, absolute opening. If your left turn is close to an intersection, not easily visible due to a clear curve in the road, or is just before a bus stop (especially if its occupied by a bus), then take the time to take stock of the situation and/or wait for it to clear up because there is more potential for danger.
The non-turning driver should to the following:
- Adhere to the speed limit: If you need to perform a panic stop, then a lower speed = a shorter stopping distance. That could make a difference.
- Scan: Scan the road ahead for any exits onto the roadway. You’re good to go if they are empty, but take note if someone is about to pull out.
- Identify: Identify whether or not someone is actually getting ready to pull out across the roadway. Has the driver seen you or are they completely oblivious? Are they playing it safe? Don’t fall into the trap of making eye contact with the driver. Instead, pay attention to the behavior of the vehicle, specifically the front tire.
- Predict: Predict whether the driver of the vehicle is going to go ahead with the turn or stay put and wait.
- Determine: If the driver is going ahead with the turn, then you’ll need to brake or swerve, but if you driver stays put, then you’re fine. In a split second, determine what is going on and what you need to do.
- Execute: If the driver pulling out has left you no room, then you’ll need to brake. If there is an escape route, then swerve. Follow one with the other if possible.
- Use your horn if you need to: Self explanatory.
A left turn car accident can be avoided with a little more attention to detail. Thoughts and prayers go out to this Clearwater woman’s family. Hopes of recovery to the other driver as well.
Drive safely and watch out for those who don’t.
Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes represents those injured in car accidents, motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents and other types of personal injury matters. He is a named partner at the Tampa Bay law firm of Perenich Caulfield Avril Noyes – one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Pinellas County. Call Attorney Matthew Noyes now at 727-796-8282 or complete the form on this page or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.