Ok, maybe “secret” is not the right word, but I am always surprised by the vast number of people who don’t know this simple safety tip. Here it is (drum roll please): When waiting to turn left at a red light or while waiting for oncoming traffic to clear, do NOT turn your wheels left until you are actually going to turn. Wait with your wheels straight.
The reason should be obvious, but just in case it isn’t, there are two very unpleasant things that can happen to you if you are rear-ended with your wheels turned left:
- You can be pushed into oncoming traffic and get clobbered by an oncoming vehicle
- You can get pushed so hard your car actually flips over from the force of the impact.
I have represented victims of both results. Believe me, the injuries can be horrible either way.
You might think number (2) is unlikely to happen in a typical low-speed rear-end collision, but I represented a lady once who was rear-ended at only 30 miles-per-hour with her wheels turned left and the force of the impact was enough to flip her.
Why is this simple safety rule more important now than ever? Texting. More and more drivers — especially young ones — are so wrapped up in their phones that they do not notice when the vehicle they are following stops with its left blinker on. Hence, rear-end collisions into left-turning vehicles are on the rise.
Note that in New York State it is not a legal requirement for a left-turning driver to wait with her wheels turned left. And a jury is not allowed to place any of the fault on the stopped vehicle’s driver for waiting with the wheels turned left. But why wouldn’t you want to keep yourself and your passengers as safe as possible? It is a no-brainer!
Remember: WAIT with wheels STRAIGHT.
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Syracuse NY Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.