Right turns and left turns are daily driving maneuvers, while U-turns are less common. While many of these can cause car accidents, U-turns may be the riskiest. That is because the move might interfere with oncoming traffic and more time is needed to complete the turn. Determining who is liable for a U-turn accident can be challenging.
No state laws specifically prohibit U-turns in Delaware, but there are traffic signs and lights to prevent drivers from making them at many locations. When a driver violates those, they could be liable for a crash. Otherwise, drivers should follow the following guidelines when making U-turns:
You might also encounter jug handle turns, where drivers exit off the main road and cross over to the other side, typically after going through a traffic light.
U-turns are inherently dangerous, especially when there is a lot of traffic. Drivers must reduce their speed and then turn in the opposite direction. When other drivers cannot brake in time, they could rear-end the turning vehicle or hit it head-on.
Drivers who make risky U-turns can also cause T-bone accidents. Without enough warning, another vehicle could collide with the first one, hitting it broadside.
In many cases, drivers who initiate the U-turn are held responsible. There are exceptions, though, since every case is different. To determine liability, your lawyer will want to know:
Your lawyer will also try to establish if the driver was using a handheld device, speeding, under the influence, or otherwise driving recklessly.
As with all automobile accidents, more than one party can be found responsible for a U-turn crash. For example, Driver A might have been texting when Driver B made a U-turn and crashed. Delaware has a modified comparative negligence rule. This means the claimant can be partially responsible for the accident and still be eligible to collect compensation. However, their percentage of fault will be reduced from the compensation award. Additionally, they cannot be more than half responsible for the accident.
A U-turn accident can change lives forever. If this has happened to you, contact our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. To schedule a free consultation, complete our online form or call 302-656-5445. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.