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Twenty-five percent of pedestrian crashes involve left turns

Think that turning left can be difficult and stressful for a driver? While that's true in New Jersey and elsewhere, the stats show that left turns can also be very dangerous for pedestrians. They cause about 25 percent of the pedestrian accidents that happen in the United States.

The issue is that both people think they are following the signals properly. The driver will usually have a green light to turn left. The driver could also have a blinking red light, meaning he or she has to wait for the traffic that is going through and then hurry to make a left turn when there is space.

However, on the road onto which that driver is turning, pedestrians may have a walking symbol, telling them they are allowed to cross. Now, the driver may still be in the wrong here, because it's the driver's job to make sure pedestrians aren't in the street before turning onto the other road, but it's easy to see how a driver could make that mistake, honestly thinking he or she was making a fully legal turn. The light said to turn, after all.

For pedestrians, part of the problem is that they often don't see these turning cars at all. Even if they check the road that they are crossing, pedestrians may not look at the road that they're walking along. Plus, drivers may be making a very fast left turn to get through a break in traffic, so they can seemingly come out of nowhere.

If you've been hurt in an accident like that, you may have a right to compensation.

Source: NPR, "Left Turns Cause A Quarter Of All Pedestrian Crashes In U.S.," Kate Hinds, accessed Jan. 15, 2016

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