The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Fleet Safety Tip of the Week: Recognizing the Signs and Rules of One-Way Streets

September 18, 2013

The best fleet drivers develop safe driving habits. But the likelihood of a split-second bad decision increases when an otherwise good driver encounters an unfamiliar and unexpected driving condition. Take, for example, the multi-lane one-way street. These streets are very common in older, downtown districts in metropolitan areas. But what if your drivers spend 99.99 percent of their drive time on suburban streets where multi-lane one-way streets are about as common as a winning lottery ticket? Then it won’t hurt to remind them of the rules that apply to such streets, so they're less likely to be caught off-guard.

Collisions on one-way streets most commonly occur when a driver unwittingly makes a left or right turn from the wrong lane.

Here are some tips prepared by the Springfield, Mo., Police Department that you may want to pass along to your drivers:

  • If you intend to make a left turn, you need to do so from the left lane. If you intend to turn right, do so from the right lane. If there is a center lane, it is a forward lane only. Do not turn from the center lane. If you are in the center lane and you anticipate a left or right turn, you should move to the appropriate lane in advance of your anticipated turn.
  • Turning from the proper lane will ensure that you are not involved in a collision with a vehicle to your right or left. Typically, drivers making improper turns collide with a vehicle that is lawfully traveling in the lane to their left or right. The offending driver does not see the other vehicle until they collide because of the other vehicle being in a "blind spot.”
  • A one-way sign will be posted on one-way streets. However, many private driveways that enter onto one-way streets do not have signs warning drivers that they are entering a one-way street. There are three clues that will help drivers identify one-way streets:

1) The striping on one-way streets is typically white instead of yellow.

2) Vehicles on one-way streets can usually park on either side of the roadway (where allowed), facing in the direction that traffic flows.

3) Watch for traffic signs on the sides of the roadway. If they all face away from you and you can’t read them, then alarms should be going off in your head. You're traveling the wrong way.

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