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Is a driver making a left-hand turn always at fault for a traffic accident in New Jersey?

 

A:

Are you always at fault for an accident if you were making a left-hand turn?It depends on the circumstances of the case. In most NJ car accident cases, a driver making a left-hand turn will be at fault for causing the accident.

Drivers may be held liable for failing to properly navigate left-hand turns in the following types of situations:

1. failing to use a turn signal,

2. failing to come to a complete stop before entering an intersection,

3. speeding, and

4. distracted driving (i.e., using a cell phone, GPS, etc.).

In addition, under New Jersey traffic law, drivers making left-hand turns must yield the right of way to oncoming traffic. It is important to note, however, that there may be situations in which a driver who caused a left-hand turn car accident may have a valid defense. For instance, a driver in another lane, who was texting and failed to see the driver making a left-hand turn, may be held comparatively negligent (i.e., share fault with the driver making the left-hand turn).

Liability in a Left-Hand Turn Car Accident Case in NJ

NJ drivers are required to exercise reasonable care in the operation of automobiles, taking into consideration the ordinary risks of harm. Left-hand turns are naturally dangerous because they involve driving across the paths of other cars on the road. The risk of harm is increased beyond normal driving circumstances. Drivers navigating left-hand turns must therefore exercise an increased amount of care in proportion to the danger (i.e., crossing 4 lanes of travel versus 1). Failure to exercise due care will result in negligence.

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