Determining Liability for a Car Accident Involving U-Turns

u-turn sign U-turns are essentially sharp left turns and one of the most dangerous maneuvers a driver can execute. Drivers are required to yield to oncoming traffic before crossing into the opposite lane. In the event of an accident, fault often lies with the driver making the U-turn, although that is not always the case.

Proving who was at fault can sometimes be difficult. It will depend on many factors, such as whether the U-turn was illegal and whether it was done safely.

Greg Monforton & Partners’ auto accident lawyers in Windsor are ready to review your situation and determine your legal options. Your initial consultation is completely free, so there is no cost or risk to you. We have handled many different types of crashes over the years, including for victims of a U-turn collision.

If you have been injured in a U-turn accident because of another driver’s careless or negligent actions, you may be eligible to seek significant compensation for your damages. Call our law offices today to learn more. We have staff available to take your call anytime, night or day.

Talk to a lawyer today. Call (866) 320-4770

What Makes U-Turns So Dangerous?

U-turns can be especially risky because the driver making a U-turn must cross lanes of traffic to complete the maneuver. U-turning drivers can get hit not just by oncoming traffic, but also by drivers turning right.

Drivers making a U-turn, as well as those making a right turn, often proceed without paying attention to one another. Doing so puts both drivers at risk of an accident.

Getting hit from behind or on the side at a high rate of speed can result in head, back and neck injuries that could be life-changing and require extensive medical treatment.

U-Turn Accidents That Often Happen

U-turn accidents often happen at intersections. It is important to use caution and drive defensively when making a U-turn or when approaching another driver attempting to make a U-turn ahead of you.

Examples of U-turn accidents include:

  • The driver makes a U-turn into a narrow lane, blocking traffic, and gets rear-ended by an oncoming vehicle.
  • The U-turning driver gets hit on the side after making the turn slowly and failing to match the speed of oncoming traffic.
  • The U-turning driver causes a chain reaction, leading to multiple accidents with oncoming traffic.
  • The driver fails to make a sharp enough U-turn and sideswipes a car in the adjacent lane.
  • The U-turning driver fails to yield to oncoming traffic and gets into a head-on crash.

When Are U-Turns Legal in Ontario?

The U-turn rules in Ontario are fairly straightforward. You are allowed to make a U-turn as long as there is no sign or traffic signal saying not to.

To make a safe U-turn at an intersection or in between an intersection, drivers should always signal to indicate they plan to turn. Before turning, drivers should bring their vehicle to a complete stop and check to be sure traffic is clear in both directions.

U-turn is considered illegal in the following places:

  • On a curve on the road
  • On the crest of a hilltop
  • On or near a railroad crossing
  • Near a bridge or tunnel that blocks your view

Under the law, if you cannot see a minimum of 150 metres in either direction, you should not make a U-turn.

Drivers who interfere with any approaching traffic can be charged with certain offenses. This is in accordance with Section 143 of Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act (HTA). Anyone who makes an illegal U-turn may face a $110 fine and have two demerit points added to their driving record.

Liability in a U-Turn Accident

All drivers have a legal obligation to make any turn with caution. This means remaining aware of your surroundings and using proper judgment when deciding whether it is safe to make a U-turn.

If an accident does happen, it could be challenging to determine liability. The driver making the U-turn is typically to blame. However, there are some cases where the other driver may be at fault. For instance, if an approaching driver was speeding, ran a red light or was driving while distracted or impaired. In any of these situations, liability for the accident and and resulting damages could be shared.

An attorney can help to determine liability in this scenario by assessing whether the other driver made an illegal or unsafe U-turn. The location of impact and the damage sustained to the vehicles involved could also help show how the accident happened.

For instance, say you were driving through an intersection and another driver made a sudden U-turn in front of your vehicle. You may have tried to slow down or change lanes to avoid getting hit. However, if you were unable to avoid the collision and were hit by the turning vehicle, you probably sustained damage to the front end or left side of your vehicle.

If needed, your lawyer may retain the services of an accident reconstructionist to help clarify how the accident occurred. These trained experts use existing evidence combined with science and technology to establish whether the crash was due to negligence and if so, who may be liable.

Get Answers to Your Legal Questions

Car accidents may lead to devastating consequences. If victims suffer serious injuries, there are also costly medical bills in addition to not being able to work while recovering.

Our lawyers understand the financial hardships an accident can cause, and we are deeply committed to holding at-fault parties accountable for their negligence. Our experienced lawyers in Ontario have helped many victims recover millions in compensation for their damages. Learn more about what our clients have to say about us.

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