The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Fleet Safety Video Tip: Double Left-Turn Lanes

August 25, 2014

VIDEO: A Critical Error in Double Left-Turn Lanes

At busy intersections with high left-turn volumes, many cities have implemented double or triple left-turn lanes with protected-only left-turn phasing – green left arrows – to help keep traffic flowing.

Unfortunately, drivers are sometimes confused when trying to determine their proper turn path on an approach with more than one left-turn lane. Sometimes poor signage or street markings are partially to blame for this confusion.

Drivers also occasionally veer out of their own turn lane because of simple carelessness; they fail to recognize, or forget, the intersection has more than one left-turn lane.

Not surprisingly, the most common type of crash in these lanes is a sideswipe between vehicles that are both turning left in adjacent lanes. That’s why it’s important for fleet drivers to approach such left turns with a measure of caution, keeping an eye on vehicles turning in adjacent lanes and keeping their own vehicle on the proper path.

Here’s a video, produced by the California DMV, which illustrates the risks involved at double left-turn lanes. To watch the video, click on the photo or link above.

You may want to pass this defensive driving tip along to fleet drivers as a friendly reminder. 

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  1. 1. Sam Ryan [ August 27, 2014 @ 05:11AM ]

    I think the driver in the right hand left turn lane should finish the turn in the center lane NOT a choice of center or right lane as shown in the video. The reason is that many of these hi traffic intersections have drivers making a right on red or a right turn yield lane. If the driver in the right hand left turn lane changes lanes to the right, they risk a problem with right turn traffic from the other direction.

  2. 2. Lee [ August 01, 2016 @ 08:16AM ]

    Not always possible, particularly for rhose with trailers and other vehicles turning inside of them. Those making right on red need to yield to other traffic, after all they do have a red light. It is only permitted they go when clear.

  3. 3. angela [ September 08, 2017 @ 08:36AM ]

    But as Sam said left turn drivers should stay in their own lane if at all possible which is most of the time to help with the flow of traffic for people turning right on red. But it is true that the right turn on red always has to yield. In these cases I only turn right if there is a break long enough for the left turn driver to see I'm turning so they will stay in their lane. I cannot trust that they will so I'm careful when I turn.


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