Driving Out Left Turns

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Traffic engineers know what you already know: making a left turn into oncoming traffic is dangerous. Photo Credit: Flcker user stevieco

Making a left into oncoming traffic -- even when you do it safely and legally -- can be a hair-raising experience, as all that stands between you and extinction is hope that the driver headed your direction is paying attention and obeying the law. 

Traffic engineers have known for a long time that making a left turn increases the likelihood of an accident. Transportation departments throughout the country have already adopted "superstreets," which only allow drivers to make a right turn and then a U-turn in order to go left.

Smithsonian Magazine reports that researchers at North Carolina State University have determined the superstreet design more safe and efficient than allowing drivers to turn into traffic.

After examining data from 13 superstreet intersections and comparing them to traditional counterparts, researchers found superstreets delivered a 20 percent decrease in travel time and caused 46 percent fewer traffic collisions, on average. The superstreet design also caused 63 percent fewer accidents resulting in personal injury.

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Comments (2)

davidmarcus:

This is also one reason why modern roundabouts reduce fatal accidents by 90%.

http://www.azdot.gov/CCpartnerships/roundabouts/faq.asp

jcurtis:

Thanks for responding, David. We could sure use a few roundabouts in Fairfield County!

Julie

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