It’s a scenario that often leads to a crash: A preoccupied driver suddenly realizes he or she isn’t in proper position to make a turn and then hastily tries to execute a last-second — and unsafe — maneuver to get in the correct lane for the turn.
Instead of taking such unnecessary risks, the best approach is to continue driving safely and not overreact. Turn at the next intersection and take an alternate route — or simply go around the block to return to the intersection in the proper lane for your turn.
Here are seven tips, provided by the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, on making safe turns:
- Decide early that you’re going to make your turn. Never make a last-second turn. This is a very dangerous move that can easily cause an accident.
- Move into the correct lane as you approach the intersection.
- Use your turn signal for at least 100 feet before you make your turn. This alerts other drivers that you intend to turn.
- Slow down to a speed that’s safe to make your turn.
- Before you start your turn, look over your shoulder for pedestrians and bicyclists. Pedestrians and bicyclists always have the right of way and you must yield to them.
- If you’re not going a safe speed or aren’t in the proper lane, you should drive to the next intersection to make your turn. And if there are vehicles occupying the turn lane, you shouldn’t block traffic. Continue on to the next intersection.
- Finish your turn in the correct lane. A right turn should be made from the right lane into the right lane. A left turn may be completed into any lane lawfully available or safe for the desired direction of travel.
To view a video about turning right safely on a red light, click on the photo or link below the headline.